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    Posted May 10, 2014 by

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    Free cremation for poor Filipinos sought

    A lawmaker on Saturday said he has filed a bill mandating the local government units to create public crematoriums that will extend free cremation services to indigent Filipino families.
    Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. of Iloilo Province said House Bill 3848 would benefit the general public, particularly the indigent families who cannot afford to give their loved ones a decent burial.
    "The cost of dying has outpaced the cost of living in our country," Defensor said in his bill.
    "Owing to the Filipino culture, the most pervasive practice of grieving for one's loss is still the customary funeral and burial. Such expenses, however, have become more and more burdensome with each passing year," he stressed.
    Citing reports, Defensor said a funeral including the coffin, burial and cemetery plot costs from P8,000 to P10,000 for indigent families, excluding the expenses incurred during the wake.
    "Other funeral packages easily range from hundreds of thousands to millions of pesos. The figure easily rises further with the average cost of a cemetery plot in a private cemetery costing at least P70,000. Other cemetery plots can cost as much as millions of pesos," the lawmaker said.
    Public cemeteries afford little relief, Defensor said, citing the diminishing spaces due to rising population and the funeral costs, which are exorbitant for the indigent families.
    Defensor said cremation costs one-third of a traditional funeral and the amount can even be lessened significantly if undertaken by the government for the indigent families.
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