It is really an awkward moment when we talk about death. The truth is, no one wants to die early. We want to live our lives to the fullest. But we cannot avoid death. It is bound to happen to everyone. But when it happens during a calamity and causes the death of many people, how is this dealt with?
The wrath of Typhoon Yolanda comes to mind. The saddest thought is, to this day, we do not know the exact number of total casualties. One casualty is bad enough. But multiple? That is the worst thought to digest.
But do we need to register deaths, even in such a case? Yes, because the State needs to keep track of statistical data on the population. An effective system of recording of all deaths is very important to keep this data accurate. Further, the death certificate is essential in documentation for claiming of benefits for the heirs, insurance proceeds, among others.
Many of us may know how to register the death of one person, but how about for multiple persons for a mass grave? What is a mass grave?
A mass grave is a grave of unidentified corpses prior to their burial. There, however, is no definite number of corpses for a grave to be considered a mass grave. But the United Nations set the minimum number of corpses in a mass grave to three (3).
How then do we register the death of the persons in a mass grave?
Any person can register the death of any unidentified body in the mass grave, with the help of the health officer. Two disinterested persons will support the registration with an affidavit, giving information on the sex, distinguishing features and estimated age of the body, date, place and condition of the body when found. The death certificate will indicate, “BODY NOT IDENTIFIED” and submitted to the Local Civil Registrar of the place where the mass death happened.
For more details regarding this procedure, please call us at (+632) 7051265 and (+632) 7051277.