Frequently Asked Topics/Questions:
Is it possible to carry-on cremated remains of a loved one to transport from Philippines to US?
Answer: (based on my own experience)
It is very possible, I’ve done it.
But please know, airlines have certain restrictions on how to transport cremated remains. You have to double check with the airline that you will be using (my case, used Delta), to determine their exact policies. It might me very confusing to handle all the required documentation but it is very useful to understand that the rules and requirements have a basis in ensuring proper care for our loved ones remains and to also ensure that our flight process is as smooth as possible. So it is very good idea to contact your airline in advance so you can get the specific requirements from them.
Airlines and airport personnel will not under any circumstance open an urn with cremated remains in it, therefore, they require to have the remains in a plastic or wood urn so it can pass through the x-ray machine (I used Wood Urn).
I also suggest, to make copies of all the documents concerning the travel of remains and arrive early to allow yourself extra time on the day of travel to ensure adequate time to pass through security clearance, for they will be checking all the documents concerning the travel of remains.
Now, you can consider all the following steps that I did, but still double check in case they have additional guidelines with their policies (for I did all this 2016).
Documentation Process in Handling Human Remains/Ashes for transport to US
Secure the original copy of:
Embalming/Cremation Certificate (Given by the Funeral Homes)
Transfer Permit from the city of origin (Get from the City Registrar Office)
Certificate Cost Php 100.00
Contact Philippine Bureau of Quarantine Office.
BUREAU OF QUARANTINE
25TH Delgado St. Fort Area Manila
Contact Tel. # : 02-320-9101 / 02-527-4678
Fax : 02-320-9105
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
QUARANTINE PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
- Death Certificate
- Embalming / Cremation Certificate
- Transfer Permit from the City of Origin
Certificate Cost Php 500.00
Secure your travel ticket and with your itinerary, contact US Embassy for Shipment or Hand Carry of Remains/Ashes thru Mortuary certificate Window ACS. They will issue a Certificate (at no charge for Military) that you will attach with the other documentations that you already have, and by then you are ready to travel.
I wish that this guide be useful for anyone who will need to go thru the process without too much hassle.
Please allow me, for I feel obliged to share to you useful information like this. Thank you and be sociable, share.
RAO SUBIC Newsletter 07/17/2017
A U.S. Embassy visit IS tentatively scheduled for Subic in September 2017. The specific date and location has not yet been identified. More on this as it is announced by the Embassy.
SELECTIVE SERVICE REGISTRATION:
The question has arisen regarding registering for Selective Service by sons of U. S. citizens here in the P.I.
Yes is the answer they must. If they don’t it can effect getting citizenship, and if they apply for government jobs they may be turned down due to non registration. for more see: (IF YOU CAN GET TO IT) https://www.sss.gov/RegVer/wfRegistrationForeign.aspx, otherwise stop by the RAO and we can give you the form to register and mail.
Did you know that you may be eligible for an annual clothing allowance if you use a prosthetic or orthopedic appliance and/or medication for a service connected skin condition that causes permanent damage to your outer garments? IF you’re eligible, and you haven’t yet applied for this year, you need to act fast! *If you have already submitted your application, then no further action is required on your part.* Your application should be submitted on or before August 1, 2017. To apply, submit (in person, by mail, or fax) VA Form 10-8678 [ https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/10-8678-fill.pdf ], “Application for Annual Clothing Allowance”, to the Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service at your local VA medical center
Additional information on this benefit is available at https://www.prosthetics.va.gov/psas/Clothing_Allowance.asp.
AMERICAN LEGION RAFFLE:
The American Legion is holding a raffle in recognition of POW/MIA day on /15. Tickets are p25 each or P250 for a book of 12. Prizes are 1st-P15k, 2d P10k and 3rd P5k. See any A/L member or you can get them at the Legion on Magsaysay Blvd. Please support our sister organizations, specially the A/L they really need your support!
POST 9/11 G I BILL INCREASES:
As you may know, the maximum amounts for tuition and fees under the Post-9/11 GI Bill change every academic year. For academic year 2017-2018, the maximum annual reimbursement for those attending a private or foreign school increased from $21,970.46 to $22,805.34. Additionally, the monthly housing allowance for those taking online training exclusively (no classroom instruction) increased to $840.50 per month. These increases are effective August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2018. Remember: while BAH rates for DoD personnel are effective in January, GI Bill beneficiaries will not see the change in MHA until Sept (for terms that started on or after Aug 1).
Social Security projects biggest payment increase in years:
Friday, July 14, 2017 | 2 a.m.
WASHINGTON — Good news for seniors: Millions of Americans who rely on Social Security are projected to receive their biggest payment increase in years this January.
Bad news for seniors: It’s just a 2.2 percent increase, or about $28 a month for the average recipient.
The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare released their 2018 projections Thursday, along with their annual warning about the long-term financial problems of the federal government’s two bedrock retirement programs.
Social Security recipients have gone years with tiny increases in benefits because inflation has been low or non-existent. This year they received an increase of 0.3 percent, after getting nothing last year. The last time they got a bigger increase was in 2012, when the hike was 3.6 percent.
In recent years, many Social Security recipients have seen their cost-of-living adjustments erased by higher premiums for Medicare Part B. The trustees say that shouldn’t be a problem next year. They project that Medicare Part B premiums will remain unchanged — $134 a month for most, though retirees with higher incomes pay more.
Both Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment and the Medicare Part B premium are to be announced in the fall.
A DOSE OF REALITY:
Don’t know about you, but every time I hear about another VET passing, I think about my own morbidity Problem is, it’s going to happen to us all, unless you walk on water and are already more than 2,000 years old. As most of you know, the RAO has a more than fleeting involvement in our VETS deaths. Many know we take care of all the notifications to the government agencies, and the benefits a widow may be eligible for. What most don’t know is we also can be very involved in your burial. For 3 years now we have offered a “Widow’s Pkg” It contains all the docs we need to make the notifications and do the benefit requests. It also gives us the info needed to ensure you get planted where you want. We have a number of these pkgs on file, but far too few.
Now I want to talk to those of you who actually don’t care about what happens when you pass. Those who don’t give a crap, should stop by and let us know that you don’t care, so we don’t waste time trying to track down your stateside relatives and get a DD214 to bury you with the honor you deserve at Clark Cemetery. Also we won’t have to waste the time telling your widow/live in what they may receive. We will be very appreciative if you do let us know, so we can tell the city nobody is going to claim the body and you can participate in the monthly indigent burial in a pine box in a paupers field.
For those who do care here’s a little idea of what happens. (usual scenario). You get sick and your better half takes you to the hospital. Of course she doesn’t know you have VA or Tricare and she takes you to Gordon or Lourdes, and they may or may not do Tricare or VA, so she is left with a bill to pay. Might help if you discuss this with her, probably best you go to Baypoint or if time permits Medical City Clark. Anyway, you get to the hospital and you’re too far gone to save so you expire. Unless it’s totally service connected, there will be a bill. So now she has to get you taken care of with a funeral home and fast. The hospitals here don’t have morgues as we know them. You lay on a table somewhere in the hospital in the coolest area available. Philippine law requires that be less than 6 hours. So she calls the first funeral home she can find and that’s where the fun begins. She has to pay the hospital so the funeral home can get the body and the hospital will release the death cert. Usually about P100,000 if you’re lucky. Speaking of lucky, if you die in the hospital normally no autopsy is required. If you don’t quite make it there you most likely will require an autopsy (more money). Now you have made it to the funeral home, most of them see you have a foreigner name and the price goes up. (we do know one that doesn’t care about your nationality and is professional and has even helped save Vet families money). Next they need to embalm you. (more money). Up next is the decision whether to bury in a casket or cremate. If you want to be buried in the Philippines, you have the option of being placed at Clark. The cost for this for a casket burial is P12,000. Going the casket route is a pretty expensive transaction. The normal cost of a funeral goes between P85K and P250k, depending on the type casket. So now your family is into it for about P300k including hospital.
Should you decide to go the cremation route, and don’t have a viewing the funeral bill is lower, because they don’t have to do the dressing and make-up, to make you look better then you did when you were alive, and no casket costs are needed. You can be placed into Clark for P3000.
Both of the Clark inurnments require a death cert, DD214 and a couple other local docs. (good reason to have widows pkg on file.)
With both casket and cremation, going into Clark you also get a military ceremony and flag (both free). A video is also available for P7.5k from Clark.
Let’s talk about going back to the states now. After everything is done here and paid for, comes the real sticker shock! You’re already into it by about $3000.00, next add the special coffin and docs and plane fare. Now the bill is about $14,000.00, and you’re not even in the ground yet.
We’ve had to call a few families in the states to let them know you got new duty station orders, and assist in getting you back home. This is always a lot easier if we have a point of contact, and know your wishes. The other half of that is if they want to participate in getting you back. Some have decided they don’t want the Vet there and kind of abandon them, so make sure you have a home to go home to.
I know it’s not a pleasant thought to have to go through all the preparation and expensive, but it is reality. The other side of the whole thing is the expenses your survivors will have. Please be sure to sit down and discuss things like life insurance and your assets that they will have to deal with. We will try to make things as easy as possible for them, and also introduce them to our widow’s group for emotional support. Your job is in the prep portion. Preparing them and preparing the docs that are needed.
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE:
I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do. Phyllis Diller
There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine. P.G. Wodehouse
My grandmother was a very tough woman. She buried three husbands and two of them were just napping. Rita Rudner
At my age, flowers scare me. George Burns
You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake.