Saturday, June 13, 2020

Stranded woman’s kin told: Wait 3 years

The family of Michelle Silvertino, the woman who died while waiting five days for a bus ride home to Bicol, will have to wait for three to five years to bring her remains home.

In a statement yesterday, Pasay Mayor Emi Rubiano said she talked to Marlyn Silvertino, Michelle’s mother, and told her they would have to wait three to five years before the remains could be exhumed and brought to the family’s home province of Camarines Sur.

Michelle, 33, a single mother of four, died on June 5. Her eldest daughter, 11, earlier said she wanted her mother’s remains brought home.
Michelle’s body was buried in a shallow grave at a public cemetery in Pasay.
Sanitation law
Rubiano cited Presidential Decree 856, the Sanitation Code of the Philippines, which does not allow the exhumation of a body immediately after burial.

Under Section 5 (a) of the law, “permission to disinter the bodies or remains of persons who dies of other than dangerous communicable disease may be granted after such bodies have been buried for a period of three years.”

Laura Leonen, officer-in-charge of the Pasay City public cemetery and crematory, said a disinterment or exhumation permit may be issued by the local health officer after a body is buried for three years.

Rubiano assured the Silvertinos that the city government would tend to Michelle’s grave until her remains can be transferred to the province.

Marlyn reportedly said that Michelle sent her text messages days before her death, saying policemen and soldiers “ignored” her pleas for help.

Michelle was said to be experiencing breathing difficulties and high fever. Her friend claimed she was ignored by officials of Barangay 159 in Pasay.

On June 5, she was found unconscious by a concerned citizen at an overpass. She was declared dead at a hospital a few hours later.

The city government and police denied earlier reports that she was not provided help, saying she “refused” help.

Michelle’s employers, meanwhile, denied reports that she walked from the Cubao bus terminal to Pasay. They said they drove her from their house in Antipolo, Rizal to Cubao and then to the Pasay terminal.
The employers said she refused to go back to their home despite finding out that there were no bus trips to the provinces.

The city government also earlier said that Michelle was set to be brought home to Bicol on June 6, a day after she died.

Family receives aid
Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista said Thursday that the DSWD in Bicol provided assistance to Michelle’s family.

The DSWD’s field officers delivered P15,400 to Michelle’s mother – who has taken custody of her four grandchildren, aged 4 to 11 – a week after Michelle’s death.

Bautista said the DSWD will also provide access to livelihood programs through its Sustainable Livelihood Program for Michelle’s brother and sister, who serve as custodians for her four children; educational assistance for the three children in grade school and food assistance for 10 days.

The DSWD said it will also assess the children and explore alternative child care, as necessary.  Rainier Allan Ronda