• P500K to go to families of soldier, police casualties

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    The family of a soldier or a policeman killed or wounded in action stands to receive up to P500,000 in financial assistance under the government’s Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP).

    The CSBP has been rolled out by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Department of National Defense, in cooperation with the Office of the President and supporting agencies, for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

    DILG Secretary Ismael Sueno cited the timeliness and necessity of greater government efforts for military and police casualties given the dangers that security forces face in the Duterte administration’s campaign to stamp out illegal drugs, criminality and corruption and to foster peace and order in the country.

    Sueno called for soldiers and policemen to be brave in carrying out their duties from the barangay (village) level upward, stating, “As long as you follow the rule of law, and follow the oath of your office, I repeat what the President has said, ‘Huwag kayong matakot [Don’t be afraid], I will support you.’”

    The CSBP covers four levels of assistance.

    A Special Finance Assistance (SFA) of P500,000 will be granted in two tranches to beneficiaries of those killed in action; P250,000 to beneficiaries of those wounded in action with total permanent physical disability (TPPD); and P100,000 to beneficiaries of those with major and minor injuries.

    There will also be generous shelter assistance to families of those killed or wounded in action with TPPD worth P450,000; health care assistance through coverage of premiums from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) worth P2,400 a year and maintenance medicines provided by the Department of Health for qualified beneficiaries of those killed in action; and educational assistance in the provision of annual stipends for up to two children or other beneficiaries of those killed in action or wounded in action with TPPD.

    Aiding the implementation of the CSBP is the Killed in Action/Wounded in Action One Stop Assistance Program Management Office (PMO) based at the DILG-National Police Commission Center.

    In addition, Sueno said, President Rodrigo Duterte intends to start a trust fund for those killed or wounded in action, beginning at P1 billion and adding more to it each year.

    He enjoined the public to emulate the heart of the President for the country’s frontliners.

    The President “knows the risks they take and the sacrifices that they have given for us, so he wants to give back to the spouses and the children [of the soldiers and policemen],” Sueno said.

    JING VILLAMENTE

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