TACLOBAN CITY, January 22 (PIA) -- The office of the Regional Sanitary Engineer of the Department of Health (DOH), reminds local government units on the implementation of proper disposal of human remains.
During the recent "Suruswerte ha PIA" radio program hosted by Regional Director Olive Tiu of the Philippine Information Agency 8 (PIA-), it was learned from the DOH Regional Sanitary Engineer Percival de Paz that per 1976 Sanitation Code of the Philippines, all local government units must adhere and comply with the requirements provided in the said law, as to burial grounds, may it be public, private or memorial parks.
De Paz emphasized that no dead person is allowed to be buried in any area as desired, except those specified as burial grounds.
Among the requirements mentioned by the sanitary engineer in the designation of burial areas include a Municipal Resolution stating that the applied area is intended for burial use, separate from residential and other purposes.
"If ever we find any illegal burial, we immediately call the attention of the local chief executive for him to inform the nearest kin to have a mandatory transfer of remains," de Paz said.
The Engineer added that those who have the intention to operate a private cemetery, must have at least a 1.2-hectare lot, with 50 meters buffer zone, to avoid any contamination particularly on water dwellings, adding that the DOH should likewise issue an operational permit should other requirements be complied with.
On the management of Covid-19 related deaths, the health official stressed that proper precautionary measures must be strictly observed.
"On February of 2020, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque issued Sanitation Code No. 2020-0067, stating the guidelines and necessary protocols on the proper disposal and shipment of remains of confirmed Covid patients," Engr. De Paz said.
"For Covid deaths, the remains should be packed with a prescribed and air tight cadaver bag, and will still be wrapped with a cloth and taped properly," he added.
He also said that said bodies must not undergo embalming and must be buried within 12 hours from death. No viewing is allowed, except for having a family member to stand as witness to the burial process.
The Sanitary Engineer through the PIA Suruswerte program, has called the attention of all local executives saying that as of the moment, they should already have an established partnership with an accredited funeral home with trained and licensed embalmer capable to properly handle Covid-related deaths, as crematorium is not available in the Eastern Visayas region. LGUs should likewise provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and cadaver bags whenever needed by the funeral institution. (LDL/GTT/PIA-Leyte)