MANILA - Funeral homes that will refuse or overcharge families of deceased coronavirus patients in Manila will be penalized, Mayor Isko Moreno said on Wednesday.
Moreno said in a live Facebook video that he signed the city's Ordinance No. 8628, which states that the nation's capital will impose fines or penalties on funeral homes that "will refuse to provide logistics and transport of COVID-19 patients" and overcharge for services including, "but not limited to," sale of coffins, cremations and burials.
"Ipinagbabawal po sa lungsod ng Maynila ang pananamantala sa ating mga kababayan na nagdadalamhati," he said.
Earlier, the national government warned funeral service facilities of the penalties if they refuse to provide services.
Local government units are tasked to designate funeral service facilities that will handle the remains of COVID-19 fatalities, and to provide financial aid to families of the deceased, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles earlier said.
The cash grant aims to cover logistics, fuel and other expenses that will be incurred in the funeral service, he explained. The remains should be cremated within 12 hours.
The national government also granted local government units the authority to put a price cap on funeral services within their jurisdiction.
As of Wednesday, the COVID-19 death toll in the Philippines stood at 349 with 5,453 confirmed cases.