Mandaluyong public cemetery waives fees for COVID-19 victims
Mandaluyong City’s government-run cemetery has suspended all fees for cremations and other burial services for residents amid the sustained spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
City Ordinance No. 770, signed by Mayor Menchie Abalos on April 16 and announced on Wednesday night, suspended indefinitely the collection of any charge at the Garden of Life Park, a sprawling complex at Barangay Vergara with a crematorium, columbarium and mausoleums.
“Due to the uncertainty as to whether or not the cause of death is COVID-19 related … it is highly encouraged to perform cremation as the primary form of disposal of the cadavers during the period of enhanced community quarantine,” the ordinance read.
But the local government recognized that residents’ resources were already being stretched to the limit as the Luzon-wide lockdown had severed daily wage earners from their jobs and crippled food supplies.
“Due to the hardship being experienced by the people of Mandaluyong, the added financial burden of paying for urgent cremation services must be dispensed with,” it said.
The measure was as much a matter of public health as it was economics, however, with the city council underscoring that it could not afford a pileup of bodies and needed to hasten cremations to “further protect the people of Mandaluyong City from COVID-19 and other deadly diseases.”
As long as the city remained under the state of calamity declaration in place since March 15, all “bona fide residents, indigents and underprivileged citizens” were entitled to the free services.
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.