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Legal office recommends closure of ‘Illegal’ cadaver storage in Cebu City

By: Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | August 24,2021 - 05:40 PM


Cadavers on the floor of the abandoned bodega in Cebu City. | Screen grabbed from the video of Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Legal Office (CLO) has recommended the closure of the cadaver storage facility of St. Bernard Funeral Homes in Barangay Basak-San Nicolas along N. Bacalso Street where bodies were allegedly illegally stored.

City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said in a text message that the storage facility turned morgue was found to have violated multiple regulations on sanitation, building, and business permits.

“With their use of meat freezers for storing cadavers, it violated PD (Presidential Decree) 856 and its implementing rules and regulations. Besides, no sanitary permit was issued for the operations of its cadaver storage facility which is a blatant violation of the said Sanitary Code of the Philippines.”

“There was likewise no issued business permit for the operations of that cadaver storage facility. The Revised Omnibus Tax Ordinance of Cebu City mandates that before a business can operate, a business permit has to be secured upon payment of the corresponding business tax,” said Gealon.

The CLO began the investigations on August 18, 2021, after Vice Mayor Michael Rama in his capacity as acting mayor then, ordered the investigation of the storage facility that police has found to be improperly storing dead bodies.

The legal office ordered the investigation of the area by pertinent offices including the City Health Department (CHD), Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO), and the Office of the Building Official (OBO).

The CHD has recommended the immediate burial or disposal of the bodies that have been ‘unsanitarily’ handled inside the facility. The agency also flagged the facility’s lack of sanitary permit and for using meat freezers to store human bodies.

The OBO found that the cadaver facility had no building or occupancy permit. The facility’s building was actually owned by another entity and St. Bernard Funeral Home was only renting the area as a storage space.

Finally, BPLO has found out that St. Bernard only had a permit for Funeral Parlor/Viewing Services and General Merchandise, but it does not have a permit for a cadaver storage facility.

BPLO added that St. Bernard did not have a permit to collect fees for such storage facilities.

With this, the CLO has decided to recommend the closure of the facility at N. Bacalso Avenue as soon as possible. The recommendation has been forwarded to Mayor Edgardo Labella.

SJ Palomar, the manager of St. Bernard Funeral Homes, told CDN Digital that they already closed the morgue two days after the police came to inspect it on August 16, 2021.

“Sa wala pay order, 2 days after sa pag hitabo, amo nang gi close among morgue. Amo nang gi surrender sa tag-iya ang yuta nga among gi tukuran sa morgue. Dili nami mo gamit sa maong morgue, kay dili me gusto og samok,” he said in a text message.       rcg


Cebu City Legal Office forms team to investigate “illegal” body storage

Cebu City Health to inspect all funeral homes for sanitary handling of bodies

Funeral home owner says cadavers in ‘bodega’ were not abandoned

Cebu City to probe presence of cadavers in abandoned building

Cebu City dad suspects sabotage, scam over cadaver storage


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TAGS: Cebu City, City Legal Officer Rey Gealon, violations

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