Demand for cremation swamps sole crematorium in Cotabato province
KIDAPAWAN CITY, Cotabato, Philippines — Due to the sheer number of cadavers it has to cater, a crematorium here, which is the lone facility serving Cotabato province, has set a one-day waiting time before families can claim the cremated remains of dead COVID-19 patients and those suspected of having died from the disease.
Aljo Chris Dizon, owner of Woodhaven Chapels and Crematorium in Barangay Manongol here, said that lately, the bodies t,hey had to process come from various areas in Northern Mindanao, Central Mindanao, Southern Mindanao, and Davao Region.
Dizon added that they were also imposing a “first come, first served” policy.
The pileup of cremation service orders was first noted by locals on Thursday last week with a long queue of vehicles outside the crematorium, awaiting to be allowed to enter.
This coincided with the reported temporary closure of a crematorium in General Santos City for technical repairs.
On Friday last week, the Inquirer counted 25 bodies being lined for cremation in Woodhaven.
Depending on the physique of a dead person, the cremation process could last at least two hours, Dizon said, hence they can cater only up to eight cadavers a day.
He explained that for COVID-19 patients and suspects, they required that each body should be contained in a properly sealed body bag to ensure the safety of funeral workers.
“The safety of our workers is our concern. That is also why we make sure that they wear personal protective equipment before deploying them in our facility,” Dizon said.
Dizon disclosed that by the time their crematorium in Tagum City, Davao del Norte is operational, the long queues for cremation service here would ease.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
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.