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NR # 3132
Free funeral services for departed members of indigents
Death doesn’t have to be even more tragic for poor people who could not afford to provide a decent burial for their departed loved ones. A lawmaker has proposed free funeral services to those living below the poverty level. Rep. Loreto Leo S. Ocampos (2nd District, Misamis Occidental) said dying leaves bereaved families, especially the poor, physically, emotionally and financially drained. “A long list of funeral customs and traditions has to be observed before putting a loved one to his final rest, entailing a huge amount of expenses,” Ocampos said. He said that indigent members of the society can barely afford to feed themselves. Under House Bill 3920, all indigent members of society as identified and certified by the barangay shall be eligible to avail of the free funeral services. Ocampos, who won another term in Congress qualified that the members of the family availing of the free funeral services for their kin shall exhibit the latter’s death certificate at the time of the application. He further said that “the members of the family claiming such benefit shall be able to prove their relationship to the deceased. But a person who is found to have sufficient means to pay for the costs of funeral services shall forfeit his right to avail of said services, Ocampos added. The bill directs the National Government and the Local Government Units to allocate a portion of its budget to carry out the provisions of this Act. Ocampos said he will pursue the bill in the 16th Congress. (30) mvip