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Philippines – End of Life Issues

The Philippines is a country located in Southeast Asia with a developing healthcare system. Hospices in the Philippines provide specialized care for patients with life-limiting illnesses, focusing on improving their quality of life and relieving symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore hospices in the Philippines, local customs and practices when someone dies, and what to do when someone passes away.

Hospices in the Philippines

Hospices in the Philippines provide palliative care for patients with life-limiting illnesses, focusing on improving their quality of life and relieving symptoms. Hospices in the Philippines offer a range of services, including medical care, pain management, and emotional support for patients and their families.

There are different types of hospice care available in the Philippines, including:

  • Inpatient hospice care: This type of care is provided in a dedicated facility and is suitable for patients who require 24-hour medical care and support.

  • Home hospice care: This type of care is provided in the patient’s home and is suitable for patients who wish to spend their final days in the comfort of their own surroundings.

There are several hospices in the Philippines, including:

  • The Hospice Philippines: The Hospice Philippines provides comprehensive hospice care for patients with life-limiting illnesses.

  • The Philippine Cancer Society Hospice: The Philippine Cancer Society Hospice provides palliative care for cancer patients.

Local Customs and Practices When Someone Dies in the Philippines

When someone dies in the Philippines, there are certain customs and practices that are followed. These customs and practices may vary depending on the region and the family’s cultural and religious beliefs.

  • Death announcement: It is common for death announcements to be placed in local newspapers, announcing the passing of the deceased and providing information about the funeral arrangements.

  • Funeral: Funerals in the Philippines are typically held within a few days of the person’s passing. They are often elaborate affairs, with extended family and friends attending. Burial is the most common form of burial in the Philippines.

  • Dress code: The dress code for funerals in the Philippines is typically formal, with black clothing being the norm.

  • Condolences: It is customary to offer condolences to the family of the deceased. This can be done in person, by sending a condolence card, or by making a donation to a charity.

What to do When Someone Dies in the Philippines

When someone dies in the Philippines, there are several steps that must be taken. Here’s what you need to do:


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  1. Contact the authorities: If the person passed away at home, you need to contact the police or a doctor. The authorities will come to the house and certify the death. If the person passed away in a hospital, the hospital staff will take care of this.

  2. Register the death: The next step is to register the death. This can be done at the Civil Registry Office, and you will need to bring a copy of the death certificate with you.

  3. Arrange the funeral: Once the death has been registered, you can start making arrangements for the funeral. You can choose to work with a funeral director or make the arrangements yourself.

  4. Decide on burial: Burial is the most common form of burial in the Philippines. You will need to make this decision when making funeral arrangements.

  5. Notify family and friends: You should inform family and friends of the person’s passing as soon as possible. You may also want to consider placing a death announcement in a local newspaper.

  6. Cancel services: You will need to cancel any services or subscriptions that were in the deceased person’s name, such as utilities or insurance policies.

  7. Settle the estate: The deceased person’s estate will need to be settled. This may involve appointing an executor, paying any outstanding debts or taxes, and distributing any assets to beneficiaries.

  8. Notify the embassy: If the person was a foreign national, you will need to notify their embassy of their passing. The embassy can assist with repatriating the body and handling other matters related to their passing.

  9. Death certificate: A death certificate will be issued after the death has been registered. This document may be required for legal purposes, such as settling the deceased person’s estate.

The Philippines has a developing healthcare system and a tradition of providing end-of-life care to its citizens. Hospices in the Philippines provide specialized care for patients with life-limiting illnesses, focusing on improving their quality of life and relieving symptoms. When someone passes away in the Philippines, there are customs and practices that must be followed, and certain steps that must be taken to notify authorities, register the death, and make funeral arrangements. By following these steps, you can ensure that the passing of your loved one is handled with care and respect. It’s important to remember that each family and community may have their own unique customs and practices, so it’s important to consult with local resources and professionals as needed.


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