The cost of crematory services for deceased coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19) patients should be shouldered by the government, according to Senator Nancy Binay on Monday.
"Sa tingin ko, kayang sagutin ng gobyerno ang gastos sa cremation ng mga pamilyang mahihirap, or the government can extend assistance to families who have immensely suffered financially," Binay said in a statement.
"Nakakalungkot na walang magawa ang mga pamilyang namatayan dahil maliban sa kailangan nilang bayaran pa ang cremation, nawalan pa sila ng trabaho, at ang mas mabigat ay nawalan sila ng mahal sa buhay," she added.
Binay also suggested that the government could ink a memorandum of agreement with the National Federation of Mortuary Stakeholders to efficiently handle the cadavers in health facilities, quarantine centers, and homes.
Over the weekend, it has been reported that bodies piled up at the morgue hallway of the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City. The hospital's spokesperson Dr. Dennis Ordoña said that some of the dead patients have pending test results for COVID-19.
The Department of Health said that the issue has already been resolved and that coordination is now being made with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and local government units to prevent such instances from happening again.
Further, Binay said that the Department of Social Welfare and Development could provide bigger burial aid to affected families under its Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation.
"Meron binibigay na P10,000 ang DSWD para sa standard burial assistance. Sa sitwasyon ng mga naulilang pamilya dahil sa COVID, maaaring lakihan ng DSWD. 'Yung pagsagot ng bayarin ay napakalaking bagay na para matulungan natin silang makapag-move on sa gitna ng pandemya," she said.
Last week, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto announced on social media that the local government will be offering free crematory services for any resident who died due to COVID-19. —LDF, GMA News