Family of two-year-old fire victim seeks aid

National 1 minute, 53 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

A FILIPINO couple is seeking help to repatriate the body of their two-year-old daughter who died following a house fire in Kg Pancha Delima on September 23.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, father of the toddler Manuel Foronda Taguding Jr said they lacked cash for the arrangement of the burial ceremony in the Philippines.

“Right now, our cash in hand is about $2,500 which we received from kind hearted and helpful individuals,” he said.

He explained that they have received sponsorship for the purchase of the casket and transport of the child’s body from Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

“For that (casket and transportation), it costs $2,500 which was already paid for by someone and once the paperwork (purchasing arrangements) is done, we will fly to our home country tentatively on Tuesday,” he said.

Taguding added that return flight tickets for him and his wife will be bought by another individual who was keen to sponsor the couple.

“We are open to any kind of donations right now and we hope to settle a proper burial for our daughter (in the Philippines),” said the 45-year-old.

The toddler is the youngest out of four siblings who was born and raised in the sultanate, said Taguding.

“We have been assisting the couple since the incident and they are indeed thankful with the generous contribution given by individuals,” said a family friend of the couple.

According to her, further burial arrangements need to be done once the body arrives in the Philippines.

“There are costs of transporting the casket from the airport to the funeral parlour, as well as payment to secure a (burial) lot which costs about 60,000 pesos ($2,000). They need more funds,” she said.

She added: “The parents are still staying in the partly burnt house as they felt that their child is still there…”

A representative from the Philippines Embassy said that they are ‘requesting funds from Manila to shoulder the shipment of the remains of the two-year-old’.

During the fire, the girl was trapped inside one of the bedrooms in the house. She was rushed to RIPAS Hospital upon extraction.

She suffered from burns and smoke inhalation. She later died in the afternoon on the same day of the incident.

The Brunei Times.