Cremation for COVID-19 victims is not cheap

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 13 Aug) – For each of the patients who died of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the city government of Cagayan de Oro spends P30,000 for cremation, the usual way of disposing bodies infected with the virus.

Disinefecting the roads of Cagayan de Oro. MindaNews file photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

So far, the city has spent some P30 million to cremate those who died of COVID-19 as of August 10, according to Engr. Armen Cuenca, head of the Management of the Dead Cluster of the Cagayan de Oro Emergency Operations Center, who is in charge of disposing the bodies of those who died from COVID-19.

“Dying from COVID-19 is not cheap,” he said Wednesday.

He said 1,175 bodies have been cremated since the pandemic started early in 2020.

“This includes even those who are suspected only of having died of COVID-19. We are not taking chances,” Cuenca said.

He said the P30 million is used as payment for the Divine Shepherd Crematorium and Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes, the only two death-care companies that offer these services in the city.

Cuenca said they also spent P3.5 million for transportation ferrying the dead from the hospitals to the crematoriums.

But he said not all of those who died from COVID-19 are cremated.

“We have to make consideration for those whose religion forbids cremating their dead,” Cuenca said, referring to Muslims and other Christian groups.

He said the city government allotted a plot for those who died of COVID-19 at the LGU-owned Bolonsiri Public Cemetery in Barangay Camaman-an.

He said the city government spends P10,000 for each of the body buried at the Bolonsiri cemetery.

Cuenca said the city government spent P1.5 million to pay three funeral parlors to do the burial. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)