MANILA — The social action arm of the Catholic Church is reminding the public about its free burial assistance, including free casket for the less fortunate Filipinos.
According to Fr. Anton Pascual, Caritas Manila Executive Director, the program under Caritas Damayan is accepting donations of caskets and urns, whether they are new or have been used.
“Basically, Caritas Manila, yung pong ating Caritas Damayan, tumatanggap tayo ng mga kabaong at ng mga garapon…Kasi ngayon ang patay, pag namatay ang isang tao namimili na sila, gusto nila ikahon o igarapon,” he said in an interview.
He added: “Oo yung mga nagamit na, yung mga kabaong na iniipon ng Caritas Manila para dun naman sa ibang nangangailangan.”
The Caritas Manila official noted that currently they have less than 50 caskets and some urns.
“Wala akong official list pero less than 50, kahoy, bakal saka iba stainless, iba’t ibang klase at shape yan. Meron din tayong mga urn pero mas marami tayong mga kabaong” he said.
Pascual added that the Church has already allowed cremation as long as the remains will be buried or placed in a sacred place worthy for the dead.
“Oo, yung iba nagiging practical na, nilalagay nila sa mga kolumbaryo o ossuary ang kanilang mga remains. Tinatanggap naman ng Simbahan, ang rule lang ng Simbahan, dapat nililibing pa rin sa isang sacred place worthy of the dead,” he said.
He explained that there is a process for an individual to be provided the Church’s assistance. They are usually screened through the parishes to determine if they are really indigents.
“Siyempre i-screen natin kung mahihirap through the parishes din kasi meron tayong mga social services development ministry, na siyang mag-screen if these are indigent families na kailangang tulungan sa pagpapalibing ng kanilang mga pumanaw. Kasama ito sa corporal works of mercy, bury the dead,” Pascual said.
“Meron tayong partnership sa mga Catholic cemeteries, tulad ng La Loma, meron tayong partnership. More or less mga PHP5,000 to PHP10,000 ang budget natin diyan sa pagpapalibing. Meron tayong program for the burial of the dead, kasama yan,” he added.
The Catholic priest said that they continue to accept donations of caskets and urns that would be given to people who cannot afford to buy such things for their departed loved ones. (PNA)