Australian Embassy
The Philippines

Deaths in the Philippines


The information below is provided for Australians in the Philippines requiring assistance. The Australian Embassy in the Philippines cannot accept any responsibility for the ability or probity of the service providers listed, nor for any fees incurred.


If you require consular assistance please contact us on +63 2 7757 8100 or email at [email protected].


The Consular Section is open from 9:00am to 4:30pm Monday to Friday except for public holidays.

For after-hours emergencies please call +63 2 7757 8100 and follow the prompts to transfer (toll free) to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade after hours Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra or call direct on +61 2 6261 3305.

Deaths in the Philippines

Local authorities are required to tell us if an Australian national dies in the Philippines.  A local funeral director is required to assist with the funerary process. 

List of Funeral Directors

Funeral costs can vary depending on requirements and location of the deceased.  Burial lots, for example, are more expensive in Metro Manila than in other areas of the country.  

Estimated Costs

Family should discuss exact costs with the appointed funeral director.

  • For transfer of human remains, the cost is generally based on the weight of the shipment.
  • For cremation only: PHP60,000 to PHP80,000 (approx. AUD1,622 to AUD2,162).
  • For cremation with transfer of ashes to Australia: PHP85,000 to PHP120,000 (approx. AUD2,297 to AUD3,243).
  • For local burial: PHP60,000 to PHP75,000 (approx. AUD1,622 to AUD2,027)
  • For repatriation of the deceased: PHP280,000 to PHP400,000 (approx. AUD7,567 to AUD10,526)

General Information

Under Philippine law, remains that are not embalmed must be buried within 48 hours. If there is a legal investigation this can be extended to 72 hours.

In the Philippines, considered next of kin (NOK) includes surviving married spouse (defacto/partner is not considered to be a legal spouse in the Philippines), children, parents and siblings.

NOK must always provide written authorisation for their nominated funeral home to make funerary arrangements such as cremation and/or burial of remains.  NOK may be requested to provide a copy of their identification, and three specimen signatures with the written authorisation.

It is common for funeral homes, hospitals, government departments and businesses in the Philippines to use yahoo or Gmail email accounts or Facebook pages as their official business contact.

It is common practice in the Philippines to view the remains of loved ones before their burial or cremation. This can be in a funeral home, a chapel or at a personal residence. The period of time for a viewing can vary from one to several days in general.


An autopsy is mandatory for any violent death or any foreign national whose cause of death cannot be readily determined. No fee is payable.

An autopsy can be performed if requested by local authorities, courts or NOK. NOK must put a request for autopsy in writing to relevant authorities. The role of the funeral director is to facilitate with the authorised law enforcement agency such as the Philippine National Police (PNP) or National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), who will perform the autopsy in the funeral home's morgue.

An autopsy can be requested for non-criminal cases (natural death) by NOK, any private individual or company. If NOK is not in country, he/she may nominate a representative, generally the funeral director, to submit the request to Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory. Further information is available from

Registration of Death

NOK is required to supply the following information of the deceased person to the funeral homes who will facilitate the death registration with the Office of the Civil Registrar:

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Religion
  4. Civil status
  5. Occupation
  6. Name of father
  7. Name of mother 

It shall be the responsibility of the NOK or person who has knowledge of the death to report a death within 48 hours if the deceased died without medical attendance. The health officer shall examine the deceased and shall certify as to the cause of death and direct the registration of the death certificate to the Office of the Civil Registrar within the reglementary period of 30 days. A report of death made beyond the reglementary period is considered delayed which involves additional documentation. Further information is available on

Death Certificates

Hospitals generally do not release death certificates until all hospitalisation and/or hospital bills have been paid. In the absence of a death certificate, repatriating the deceased to Australia may not be possible. Hospital policies and procedures in releasing remains to funeral homes vary across the country.

Original death certificates are kept at the LCR and only a certified copy is issued to NOK. There is a fee for each certified copy issued by LCR approximately PHP150 to PHP200 per copy (approx. AUD4 to AUD5) and the fee varies across the country. Most funeral homes generally facilitate the initial issuance of the death certificate and includes payment in the funeral package.

Death certificates can be obtained from the Local Civil Registry Office where the death occurred or online from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) ( however the certificate is usually not available online until at least 6 months after death. If the family wishes to secure a PSA-issued death certificate immediately, they must visit any satellite office of the PSA to present the LGU-issued death certificate. The PSA office will then produce a copy of the death certificate on their security paper and hand it to the family. Refer to payment and FAQs page for current fees and payment options. Please see the PSA online guide for step by step procedures. The following is required:

  1. Complete name of the deceased person
  2. Date of death
  3. Place of death
  4. Place of marriage  
  5. Complete name and address of the requesting party
  6. Number of copies needed and
  7. Purpose of the certification

Pauper’s Funeral

If the costs of funerary arrangements are not met by NOK or other relatives, the cost is borne by the city or municipal government (pauper’s burial). If a pauper’s burial goes ahead, the case must be referred to the social services of the local government unit (LGU) who will be able to assist. The death certificate may be issued with the assistance of the LGU who will make the necessary arrangement for a pauper’s burial.

Exhumation Procedures in the Philippines

An exhumation or disinterment permit must be obtained from the local government where the deceased was buried. NOK will need to nominate a representative or a funeral director in the Philippines who can obtain the required permit.

Fee for exhumation/disinterment permit is approximately PHP100 (approx. AUD3), however, fees vary across regions.

Once the permit is issued, the representative will need to coordinate with the cemetery to arrange the schedule of exhumation. The cemetery will charge a fee for exhuming the remains which may cost approx. PHP10,000 (approx. AUD270).

NOK will need to nominate a funeral home, who will receive the remains and facilitate funerary arrangements, in accordance with NOK's wishes. Additional fees for cremation and return of ashes will be incurred.

Further information on exhumation procedures in the Philippines is available from Sanitation Code of the Philippines (Disposal of Dead Persons)


Additional Information

Death overseas | Smartraveller

What happens if you die overseas and how you can prepare | Smartraveller

Someone died | Smartraveller

Consular Section Contact Details

Consular Section
Australian Embassy
Level 23  Tower 2, RCBC Plaza 6819 Ayala Avenue
Makati City 1200, Metro Manila, The Philippines

Telephone: +63 2 7757 8100
Facsimile: +63 2 7757 8344

Email: [email protected]

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