'Cremation business in Phl flourishing'

By Aie Balagtas See, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 03 2012 09:09 AM | Updated as of Nov 04 2012 08:07 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The cremation business in the Philippines is flourishing and has become more popular among Filipinos, according to representatives of the two largest memorial parks in Parañaque City.

Raymond Ramos, a family counselor at the Loyola Memorial Park in Sucat, said more people prefer cremation over burial because it is cheaper.

Ramos said their cheapest cremation service is P25,000 while the most expensive is P95,000. He said these figures are significantly lower than burial services, pointing out that a casket costs P65,000 nowadays.

“Cremation saves you from buying a casket, interment fee, and a memorial lot,” he said.

Six out of 10 clients of the Loyola Memorial Park choose cremation over burial, Ramos said. Most of them are foreigners who wish to bring their dead home.

Danilo Fabros, cremation supervisor at the Manila Memorial Park, made the same observation.

He said cremation is advisable not only because of its reasonable price, but because it saves space in the cemetery.

According to Fabros, the cremation business started to thrive after the Catholic Church, through the Code of Canon Law of the Vatican, allowed it as an option in burying the dead.

Cremation at the Manila Memorial Park costs P95,000.

Fabros noted that their business increased by 60 percent since the cemetery offered cremation in the late 1990s.

“If this business is not growing, why are most funeral parlors in Manila offer cremation services? Others even have their own crematoriums now,” he said.

Fabros noted that because of cost, cremation is advisable for the poor. However, majority of those who choose cremation are the rich families.