MANILA – A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Friday called on the national government to shoulder the cost of burial or cremation of deceased coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients.
In a statement, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said the national government, through the Department of Health (DOH), should pay for all the burial expenses of all Covid-19 patients on a reimbursement scheme.
Rodriguez said the local government units (LGUs) will first respond to the burial needs from the hospital to the funeral parlor or crematorium to the burial site, and the expenses would then be reimbursed by the DOH.
“We should spare them such pain and agony. That is adding insult to injury since they have already lost their loved ones to this deadly virus,” he said.
He noted that the LGUs should create “fully protected teams” to take care of cremation and other burial arrangements.
“We should discourage relatives from directly participating in these arrangements for their own protection and safety, as they would be exposed to the virus,” Rodriguez said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said LGUs should ensure that the remains of confirmed and suspected Covid-19 cases in their localities are cremated or buried within 12 hours after death.
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has set aside PHP25,000 for each indigent bereaved family of suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases through the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
He also advised LGUs to issue a price cap or impose a price ceiling on funeral services located within their jurisdiction to prevent overpricing. (PNA)