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How to Process Death Certificate and Burial Permit in the Philippines.

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”- J.K. Rowling

There are so many quotes about death and life but this, by J.K. Rowling is one that I can relate most. Few days ago our family had to say goodbye to my aunt. She was 80-yrs old and had been bed ridden and suffering from Alzheimer’s. She fought throughout and yet we all must accept the reality of life. So my aunt passed-away last Wednesday at our home. Her sister was with her and she informed me of the unexpected event..

I must say that her death was an adventure for me particularly. My aunt (her sister) is a senior citizen and she’s a bit physically weak to go process the death certificate and burial permit. In short, I had to take on the responsibility as I live with them.

Processing the documents was a challenge because my aunt had no birth certificate and our family work on the late registration last July 19 only.

So how to go about with this if the birth certificate is not available? What I did is contact the Philippine Statistics Authority and asked for their advice on how to go about while waiting for the PSA certified birth certificate which is a requirement for death certificate.

Here’s a step-by-step procedure on how to secure a death certificate and burial permit if the dead, died of natural cause and in the house.

1. If you have a death care provider contact them immediately to process and prepare the body. The death care provider will supply the death certificate form.

2. Complete the death certificate form. Have it signed by a doctor to confirm death and it’s cause.

3. Since my aunt died of natural cause and at home, we were advised to go to the nearest municipal health center. Present documents like medical consultations and previous doctor’s prescriptions, these will be used by the municipal health center doctor as basis of confirming and certifying cause of death. Securing the doctor’s certification is free.

4. Once the death certificate had been signed and certified by the doctor, go to the city’s municipal office to register the death. Attach a copy of the Certificate of Live Birth and Paternity Certificate if the PSA sealed birth certificate is not yet available.

5. We live in Bacoor, Cavite so we registered our dead at Bacoor and paid Php250.00 inclusive of transfer certificate.

6. The transfer certificate is a document issued by the municipal health office to confirm that the dead has no communicable disease and can be transported from one city to another

7. Our dead was buried at Manila Memorial in Sucat, Paranaque that is why we are required the transfer certificate.

8. The burial permit must be secured from the city where the dead will be buried therefore I had to go to Paranaque City hall to secure the burial permit.

9. For the burial permit, present a copy of the death certificate and transfer permit, pay Php200 fee. It was actually fast and easy.

10. Last step, we went to Manila Memorial to schedule the burial and pay the fee which varies I think based on the policy of the owner. I am glad they have a partner priest whom I contacted to offer the final rites and blessing.

It took two days for me to process all documents and schedule my aunt’s final rites. Everything went well and smooth. It was an adventure on my part because I do not have an idea how to go about but I did it properly and smoothly. I think my aunt was happy with it and probably smiling at us wherever she is at the moment.

This is the court of eternal love inside The Manila Memorial where my aunt was laid in rest.

The final resting place of my aunt

Our family gathered after the service at a restaurant inside the memorial park.

My aunt’s death wasn’t really sad, instead it’s a celebration of life, in fact during the burial rites we were even smiling and remembering happy memories. My key take away – do not be afraid of death, instead prepare for it as much as possible. If one is prepared, the event will be stress free and smooth.

I hope my experience is informative enough and you can use as a reference should you also encounter such. Thank you for reading and cheers!

-Arlyn

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