Bill seeks to put up crematories in all districts
Better cremate the dead bodies than throw them in Manila Bay.
This was the statement of Bicolano congressmen who filed a bill seeking the establishment of crematories in every legislative district in the country.
In House Bill 135 or the proposed “Accessible Crematories Act,” the authors Ako Bicol representatives Rodel Batocabe, Alfredo Garbin, and Christopher Co said it is the policy of the state to provide affordable health services to the poor.
They said the bill sought to put up state-monitored crematories “to provide more affordable and accessible services to encourage more surviving families, especially the indigent, to opt for cremation of their deceased instead of burial.”
Batocabe clarified that his bill had nothing to do with the spate of summarily killed suspected criminals and drug pushers which has seemed to happen on a daily basis since the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has vowed a bloody crackdown on criminality.
READ: THE KILL LIST
“The primary purpose of the bill is to make burial affordable and accessible to the poor aside from decongesting our overcrowded cemeteries. It just so happened that there has been a spate of dead suspected drug pushers and addicts,” Batocabe said in a text message.
He said it was a mere coincidence that his proposed measure became relevant.
“Better cremate these dead pushers than throw them in Manila Bay,” Batocabe added.
Duterte, known for his brutal statements to kill criminals and drug pushers and drug lords, had said that the fish in Manila Bay would grow fat because of the scores of dead bodies that might float there if he assumes office.
According to the bill, there should be a secured, clean and equipped crematory in each legislative district to be maintained by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The construction and operation of the crematorium, as well as the disposal of dead bodies, should be in accordance to Presidential Decree 856 or Code on Sanitation of the Philippines.
The bill said each crematorium would be equipped with reusable metal coffins available for use to the families who opt to have a funeral wake than a cremation.
The crematorium should be built on a plot of land approved by the Sangguniang Bayan or Panlungsod and should not be located within 150 meters of any residential land.
The proposal was filed amid renewed calls to restore death penalty in the Philippines, as well as a spate of suspected criminals getting killed in police operations or summarily killed on an almost daily basis.
Batocabe said the bill he filed was timely with the rate that dead bodies are turning up in the streets of Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
“At the rate dead people are mushrooming, it will not be far-fetched that our cemeteries will be so decongested, that the dead, given a choice, will not even want to be buried there,” Batocabe said. JE
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