With the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic still prevalent, the Quezon City government reiterated that holding wakes or “burol” at home is still prohibited and must only be held in funeral parlors.

Barangay Community Relations Department (BCRD) head Ricky Corpuz issued the reminder after he received information that some barangays allow wakes to be held at home.

“We remind the family of the deceased that wakes are strictly allowed only in funeral parlors and not at home. It hasn’t changed since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) days,” Corpuz said.

“Marami kasing funeral parlor ang nagsasabi na kapag may clearance ng barangay ay papayag kaming gawin ang burol sa bahay,” he added.

Corpuz said Ordinance No. SP-2907, S-2000 that prohibits the holding of wakes at home remains in effect and is being strictly enforced to avoid mass gatherings and control the spread of the virus.

Under the said Ordinance, a wake will be allowed if the deceased is COVID-19 negative but for only two days and should be at a funeral parlor. Only immediate family members are allowed to attend the burial or cremation.

An alternative is to hold the wake in community mortuaries in barangays or chapels subject to the same protocols.

Mayor Joy Belmonte warned barangay officials and funeral homes personnel who allow wakes at home that they could be penalized with fines or imprisonment for violating the Ordinance.

The Mayor said QC-based funeral parlors that violate said Ordinance will be fined P5,000 per violation and penalized with subsequent revocation of their business permit.

The Ordinance also penalizes violators with a fine of P5,000 and/or imprisonment of not more than six months at the discretion of the court.

They can also face other charges under Republic Act N. 11332 or the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”

“What we are trying to avoid is crowded wakes where a potential surge can occur. While we understand that we should accord grieving families the right to pay their last respects, the virus is still there to wreak havoc and could ruin even our Christmas celebration. So if we can limit the wake to the immediate family and in a controlled environment, then we can avert the spread of the virus,” Belmonte said.