Funeral homes’ income ‘affected’ by fewer clients, limits on wakes

·2 min read

SOME funeral homes in Cebu City have been spooked by the ill effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on their income.

Sharon Rose Candula, manager of St. Peter Funeral Homes’ Imus branch, in an interview said the number of clients per month has decreased, causing the branch’s income to fall.

The Imus branch used to average 300 clients every month before the health crisis struck. That dropped to below 200 between March and May, she said.

During the peak of the pandemic in June and July, Candula said the number of clients doubled, reaching more than 500 clients per month.

As the number of Covid-19 cases started to drop in August and September, the number of clients also dropped to 200.

Even though Covid-19 cases continue to fall, Candula said their embalmers have been kept busy attended to the rising number of victims of crimes and road accidents.

Candula said their income was also affected by the limit on the number of days for wakes and the people allowed to attend them.

The government’s imposition of community quarantine led to the suspension of viewing and wake services until September.

From the traditional nine-day wake, Candula said the government only permitted a maximum of three days.

Most of their clients chose to immediately bury or cremate deceased family members. They also opted not to avail themselves of viewing and wake services, she said.

As cremation is the trend in the mortuary industry, Candula said they offered a cremation package with viewing and room packages.

She said before the pandemic, they only offered a coffin viewing. After the wake, the body was cremated or clients availed themselves of solely cremation.

Louie Urod, manager of Mount View Funeral Homes, told SunStar Cebu their income fell during the pandemic even though they continued to have an average of 50 to 60 clients daily.

He attributed this to clients picking services with the lowest price tag. They are choosing to be practical since most of them are struggling financially, he said.

This prompted Mount View to offer packages at low prices so it could regain its capital, Urod said. (KFD)