Cebu City dad suspects sabotage, scam over cadaver storage
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak said there may have been a scam perpetrated by some funeral parlors with regards to storing deceased bodies in the city.
This he said after meeting with funeral parlors on Tuesday, August 17, 2021, a day after the police found a bodega-turned-morgue in Barangay Basak-San Nicolas where bodies were seemingly abandoned.
The owner of the morgue, St. Bernard’s Funeral Homes, already denied allegations saying that the morgue was properly operated.
Tumulak said that he received reports of bereaved families being asked to pay P13,000 for the first day and then another P8,000 per day for succeeding days for body storage.
“Dili gyod sila kadeny, kato ganing storage facility dili lang kay usa ka funeral parlor, ang ubang funeral parlor adto kuno sa ilaha. They admitted, kining St. Bernard’s, nga kining mga namatyan nagbayad diay ni silag P13,000 for first day nya P8,000 sa succeeding days for storage.”
“Nya separate pud ang bayad ang katong sa funeral parlors. So during our meeting, nihangyo ta nila nga putlon na kay wala na tay nagproblema sa menteryo karon,” said Tumulak.
The councilor revealed that this has been the “modus” of some funeral parlors to tell the bereaved family that there is no space for a cremation slot so that the bereaved family can pay for storage fee.
With this, Tumulak said the City Legal Office is already looking into the possible filing of charges not only for the owner of the storage facility in Basak San Nicolas, but also the three other funeral parlors involved with the same facility.
The owner of the bodega may face environmental charges for the alleged mishandling of the cadavers especially since the police described the area as unsanitary.
“Duda mi nga gipangwartaan ni sa mga punerarya. Moingon sila nga walay space or wala pay slot sa cremation aron makabayad og storage fee. This is sabotage nga gibuhat sa mga funeral parlors,” he said.
The councilor reminded the public that the city government now has a system ensuring that every deceased will be properly buried.
All bereaved families must go to the City Health Department’s (CHD) Cadaver Section to get a certificate and a burial permit.
The city government also reminds the public that there is no storage facility for body remains in the city that has been accredited to store bodies.
The burial space in the city is sufficient as well, between regular exhumations and the upcoming construction of at least 200 tombs each for two Catholic cemeteries, there is enough to bury the city’s dead.
Tumulak warned funeral homes that will continue to “scam” people over body storage to stop, or else the city will go after them. /rcg
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