Senator Nancy Binay on Monday said that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) should immediately address the lack of clear protocol in handling COVID-related fatalities, including cadaver management, storage, cremation and assistance to families.
“It may sound morbid, but the IATF also needs to address the future problems of families lost to COVID-19,” said Binay in a statement.
Binay added that families of those who died from COVID-19 are having a hard time securing death certificates because some LGUs and barangay officials do not know what the protocols are if a patient dies inside his or her home, and how to properly handle the bodies which can no longer be accommodated in mortuary freezers and crematoriums.
“In the meantime, let’s resolve this. What can we do to help families? What if we don’t? How does the funeral pay for cremation? Who will take care of the requirements? who wants to receive a crematorium? ” asked Binay.
The senator said because of the lack of clear guidelines from the IATF, she has received reports that some private crematoriums are asking for P100,000 for the cremation of COVID-positive remains.
“What’s happening around the world right now, it’s never been a good time to die. It’s sad and you have no love. You can’t even say goodbye to your loved ones. You have no last rites, or proper burial. taking advantage of the family’s loss, “Binay said.
Under the DSWD Revised Guidelines on AICS for burial assistance, the department will shoulder part of the funeral cost and the family can receive up to P10,000 assistance even if they do not submit a case study report.
“Should the IATF address the issue of setting a worst case scenario for us in Italy or the US? Sadly, there is no mourning for the dead. Is there any sympathy or concern for the living?”
As of 2020, there are only 60 crematoriums operating nationwide, 90% of which are privately-owned, and 25 out of 60 are in Metro Manila. Only six are publicly-owned (Manila, Pasay, Mandaluyong, QC, Dasmarinas City and Antipolo City) and are mostly operated by the local government – but of the six, only five are operational which can only accommodate 3-5 cadavers a day./Stacy Ang