• Melo Acuna

Funeral service workers exempted from ECQ

Funeral services staff, personnel exempted from enhanced community quarantine rules

MANILA – Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles today said in addition to the other measures adopted by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease, they emphasized on the handling and disposal of the confirmed COVID-19 fatalities and persons under investigation.

During a briefing early Wednesday afternoon, Secretary Nograles referred to Resolution No. 15 passed yesterday during the Task Force meeting held at Malacanang. Reading from the resolution, local government units will designate funeral services facilities to handle the remains of COVID-19 fatalities and provide possible financial assistance to cover the logistics, fuel and salary as well as other expenses that may be incurred.

The Task Force said LGUs and the Department of Interior and Local Government shall monitor and penalize funeral homes that refuse to provide services, including transport of COVID-19 remains. The Department of Social Welfare and Development shall allocate amounts for a funeral support allotted to indigent and confirmed COVID-19 case and PUIs regardless whether they are undergoing quarantine or admitted in a public or private health facility. DSWD was mandated by the IATF resolution to allot P25,000 per deceased. LGUs may pass an ordinance to put a price cap or impose a price freeze on funeral services located within their jurisdiction.

He cited a part of the resolution providing exemption from the enhanced community quarantine in favor of funeral service staff and personnel and they may freely move and travel to ensure that the remains of the deceased individuals will be given proper funeral services.

Funeral companies are mandated to provide transportation and housing accommodations for funeral service staff.

It will be recalled the Department of Health reported some 33 deaths due to COVID-19 disease. (Melo M. Acuña)

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