SAF 44 families getting govt help for businesses

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has been supporting the families of 44 police commandos from the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF), who died in a clash with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, on January 25 last year.

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DTI-Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Zenaida Maglaya said the DTI has
assisted the families since the tragedy and is continuing to do so, noting that the families expressed interest in running their own businesses to support their livelihood.

“We assure that the commitment of assistance to the families of the SAF 44 by the department has been provided and will continue,” Maglaya added.

“Majority of the families signified interest in starting livelihood enterprises, thus, project proposals have been prepared by the DSWD and endorsed to DTI for validation. These proposals were submitted to the Presidential Management Staff for approval and funding,” according to Maglaya.

The DTI undersecretary said no monetary support has been given, but the aid that the trade agency has been giving the families are services such as trainings, seminars, consultancy services through the SME Roving Academy (SMERA) and facilitation of business name registrations and business permits, among others.

Maglaya added that whether the families have existing businesses or planning to put up one, the DTI will help assess what is best for the business, even packaging business proposals to guide them aside from the business trainings offered to the families.

“Through our provincial offices, we asked them what their needs are and helped them assess what’s the best business for them. That’s where we come in,” she said.

The families were also urged to consult the Negosyo Centers in their respective provinces, which also provide the same assistance.

Maglaya said some family members of the SAF 44 were employed with government agencies in their respective provinces.

To reach these families, the DTI-Regional Operations Group ensures that the families get the aid.

Maglaya said that the DTI, right after the sad news about the SAF 44, through its regional and provincial offices immediately sought the families of the police troops and asked how the agency can help them.

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