Frasco’s proposal for access to affordable caskets pass committee deliberations
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – A bill that seeks to provide every Filipino family access to affordable and decent caskets for their departed loved ones passed deliberations by the Committee on Trade and Industry at the House of Representatives.
If approved into law, House Bill (HB) No. 102 or the proposed “Affordable Caskets Act” by 5th District Rep. and Deputy Speaker Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco will require funeral homes to make available decent caskets that would cost not more than P20,000.
Frasco said in a statement that during the committee deliberations, the scope of the Bill was further expanded so that the P20,000 cap will already include other funeral expenses.
“In the Philippines, the cost of dying has become a burden akin to the challenges of living. Many Filipinos are born in poverty, and unfortunately, they often pass away in similar circumstances. With steep funeral and burial costs, one can only imagine the painful experience that grief-stricken Filipino families go through when facing not only the loss of their loved ones, but also the financial burden brought about by high-costs funeral expenses,” Frasco said during his sponsorship speech.
Frasco said that to date, the price of caskets would range from P5,000 to P110,000, “with the availability of lower priced caskets often limited and even unavailable in most funeral parlors.”
With this, he said that “funeral expenses further compound soaring costs of dying in the country.”
Affordable Caskets Act
Under Frasco’s “Affordable Caskets Act”, funeral parlors will be required to still cater to indigent clients even if the cheapest of their caskets are no longer available.
Frasco said that if the family of the deceased is “extremely poor” as certified by the barangay captain or the social worker, funeral parlors will be obliged to offer a casket of higher value. However its price will still have to be covered by the P20,000 cap the was mentioned in his proposed legislation.
Violators will be fined P200,000 to P400,000 and may risk the revocation of their business permits and other related licenses.
Frasco said that when he was still mayor of Liloan town in northern Cebu, he saw first hand the financial burden that poor or indigent families face from mounting funeral expenses.
He said that they are made to suffer from grief and indebtedness as they make sure to give their dead a decent burial.
“Regulating the sale of caskets and funeral expenses will greatly relieve grief-stricken families of the added financial burden, and preserve the human dignity of our fellow Filipinos, both in life and in death,” Frasco said.
The House Committee hearing held on Wednesday, November 22, was also attended by representatives and stakeholders of the funeral service industry.
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