INFOGRAPHIC: How Much A Funeral Costs In The Philippines

6 min. read By eCompareMo on

Even the dead can keep the living awake — due to the financial horrors the grieving families must face. In fact, the funeral costs in the Philippines can almost kill them as well. That’s because a decent burial is already deemed a luxury.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit report, commissioned by Singapore-based Lien Foundation-in 2015, the Philippines is one of the worst places to die. The study showed that we rank 78th out of 80 countries basing from the quality of end-of-life care in the country.

Stages in traditional funeral process

Aside medicals bills (if the person was ill before death), fines/repair fees (if the person was involved with accidents or property damages), etc., the expenses never stop as the Filipinos follow a traditional funeral process:

  • Choosing of Funeral Package – This includes processing of death certificate, embalming, coffin, flowers, and other services from the chosen funeral parlor. Others would opt for cremation.
  • Wake period – It takes seven days or two weeks where relatives and friends visit the deceased. Expenses include the food and beverages for the guests.
  • Requiem mass – The deceased is brought to the church for readings and people from the deceased’s life gather to bid a last goodbye.
  • Burial – The interment or burying the dead. Unless buried on public cemetery or placed in an urn, the plot is a major item on the list of expenses. Other families also choose to serve a banquet after the burial and/or after 40 days (babang luksa).

The following processes only reflects the Catholic funeral tradition, as the Philippines is predominantly Catholic. Practices from the indigenous culture and other communities have different procedures.

The recent Undas may have given you time to remember your loved ones and contemplate on life and death—whether you are ready or not for the inevitable demise. The infographic below shows the cost of dying in the country.

Breakdown of average funeral expenses

As of 2016, this is how much a burial, cremation, and other death-related expenses cost:

1. Registration of Death

This is the process of getting a death certificate from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Doctor’s fee and other bills prior to the demise of the person are not included:

Certificates Price
Burial permit at public cemetery P150
Burial permit at private cemetery P500
Transfer of Cadaver P200
Documentary Stamp Tax for every receipt P15

2. Mortuary care

Aside from the embalming, this also includes the setup for viewing of the deceased. The setup arrangement refers to the lamps, flowers, catafalques, and hearse (burial).

Parlor Type Price
Small funeral parlor P8,000 – P10,000
Mid-range funeral parlor P15,000 – P250,000
High-end parlors P30,000 – P500,000

3. Food

Funerals call for a gathering of family and friends, and so it obliges you to be hospitable and provide food for all the guests. This includes biscuits, breads, coffee, refreshments, and sometimes, decent meals.

The expenses are based on:

  • Length of wake
  • Number of anticipated guests
  • What types of food to be served

The average spending for food reaches between P3,000 – P20,000.

4. Coffins

Depending on the materials used for its construction, the costs vary. Here are the average prices of coffin in the Philippines.

Type Price
Wooden P3,000
Metal P16,000 – P35,000
Stainless P75,000
Bronze P85,000

5. Cremation

There are different types of cremation according to the age of the body or the portion of exhumed bones to be cremated. It differs as per the package offered by the funeral service providers.

Type Price
Regular cremation P10,000 – P20,000
Powder fine P150,000

6. Urns

The price varies according to the materials used or the intricacy of the designs.

Type Price
Marble P2,500 – P12,000
Metal P50,000 – P80,000

7. Columbarium

Since urns are not traditionally advised to be kept at homes, bereft families have to acquire a space in a columbarium. Price ranges from P20,000 – P150,000.

8. Clothing

The deceased is dressed in an elegant gown/shirt before being placed in the coffin. The grieving family might opt to buy one if none can be used from his/her existing wardrobe. It can cost P500 – P5,000.

Sometimes, white clothes are also bought for the whole family to be worn at the burial day.

9. Memorial Lot

The earthen space for the remains is also a huge financial decision, especially for families who chose to have their deceased buried on a private plot.

Type Price
Apartment tombs P1,000
Private lots P65,000 – P100,000
Mausoleum more or less P1,000,000
Garden Lot P2,000,000
Estate Lot P18,000,000

Here are a few of the popular business brands that offer memorial plots:

  • Eternal Gardens
  • Forest Lake
  • Golden Haven
  • Loyola Memorial Park
  • Manila Memorial Park
  • The Heritage Park

10. Burial service

This covers prayer services, security, transportation, and/or live music. It can cost P5,000 – P50,000.

With all these expenses entailed, some raise funds through the passing the hats to relatives and other loved ones of the deceased or abuloy for financial aid.

In some rural areas and urban poor communities, people set up tables to host saklaan or card betting as another way to gather money aside from solicitation.

Best Funeral packages in the Philippines

Here are the package rates of some known funeral service providers:

Funeral Service Homes Package Rates Inclusion
Eternal Gardens P50,000 – P80,000
  • Mortuary care
  • Transfer of body
  • Wake and viewing
  • Burial service
Golden Haven P79,000 – P477,400 (Lawn Lots)
P522,000 – P7,228,200 (Big Inventories)
*As of 2018
Memorial Plot (of various locations)
Loyola Memorial P15,900 – P159,000 For ages 41 to 55:

 

  • insurance coverage
  • cash difference benefit
  • memorial chapel
  • mortuary care
  • longevity of plan
  • transfer of cadaver
  • unrendered service
St. Peter P36,800 – P105,000 (Traditional)
P66,000 – P99,000 (Cremation)
P100,00 – P300,000 (Money back*)
*20% of the price will be returned to the Planholder each year starting at 16th year to the 20th year as long as the Planholder is alive.
Life plan:

 

  • Chapel
  • Casket and/or urns
  • Mortuary care
  • Burial service
Funeral Link P30,000 – P450,000
  • Transfer of remains
  • Embalming
  • Chapel
  • Registration of Death
  • Cremation fee
  • Urn with engraving
  • Hearse going to crematory
Arlington PH P232,200 – P2,399,200 Full memorial service with gauge sheets or stainless steel for coffins
The Heritage Memorial Park P224,000 – P20,160,000 Memorial plot (lawn/garden /estate)

If your living requires unbearable high cost to survive, your final resting requires hefty amount too—and the expenses never end.

After the interment, there is a tradition of nine-days after-prayer, as well as 40 days after-prayer in which family and relatives gather and hold a party of some sort.

The first death anniversary, or babang-luksa, is another reason to gather and shed some cash.

The tradition of gathering at All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day in the month of November is another time to spend on candles, flower, transportation, food preparation, tent set-up, as well as tomb and mausoleum cleaning and repainting.

Getting a memorial plan is an essential that most Filipinos often disregard. You don’t want to leave your loved ones with a financial burden to provide you a decent burial. It might seem morbid to think about death ahead of time but ultimately, it always pays to be prepared.

How to be financially prepared for the expense of funeral services

  1. Aside from your savings, build an emergency fund that can help cover any unforeseen mishaps, including loss of a family member.
  2. Get life insurance. It spares your family the financial liabilities when the worst comes.
  3. Get HMO or any medical insurance for your family in case they need immediate hospital care and to answer other health needs.
  4. Applying for a memorial plan will help ease some of the burden from your grieving family.
  5. Have concrete financial plans. Keep records of all your financial transactions and review them to adjust your spending habits.
  6. If the deceased is a member of government insurance system such as SSS/GSIS, PhilHealth, or OWWA, process the application in claiming Death or Funeral grants.

NOTE: Except for the death certificate, the prices of items presented are only estimate and may vary according to the service providers and other factors.

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