Isabela Governor Rodolfo Albano III ordered the immediate burial of the dead from 24 hours to three days to prevent the mass gathering during wakes that could spread the pandemic COVID-19.
Albano said one of the potential sources of getting infected with coronavirus was attending wakes where foreigners and visitors from places with confirmed pandemic cases also visit.
Most of the unfortunate families extend the wake of their deceased loved ones due to lack of money to pay for burial fees such as funeral services, casket, and cemetery lot.
Because of this, they are forced to host gambling or what they call “saklaan” to get extra money or “tong” to pay for the cost of burial.
Isabela governor: shorten wakes to avoid pandemic COVID-19 spread
It is also part of the Philippine tradition to wait for relatives abroad or far provinces before burying the dead. Family reunions also happen when someone dies.
To alleviate the grief, Albano offered the family of the deceased financial aid or coffin and funeral arrangements for their loved one.
The governor also said the guidelines for the shortened wakes would remain while Enhanced Luzon Community Quarantine is being implemented as declared by President Rodrigo Duterte to combat the spread of pandemic COVID-19.
As of this writing, the Philippines now has 187 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 12 fatalities.