P20-B trust fund for soldiers and cops killed, wounded in Marawi eyed

MANILA-- A senator on Thursday filed a measure seeking the creation of PHP20-billion trust fund for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) who were killed or injured in the line of duty.

Under Senate Bill No. 1491 or the Comprehensive Social Benefit Program of the Government, Sen. Francis Escudero said that the fund will be established and developed by the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

His measure will also cover the necessities and basic needs of the families and dependents of soldiers, policemen, policewomen killed or wounded in legitimate operations sanctioned by the government.

The amount will be used to finance five types of assistance: full scholarship, financial, shelter, health and medical care, and cost of living, the measure said.

It will be implemented and managed by a board composed of the Office of the President, the DILG, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Commission on Higher Education, the AFP and the PNP.

Moreover, the biggest chunk of the trust fund will go to the education of the children of military and police officers killed in action.

Escudero, chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture, said that children of a soldier or police officer killed while in duty will given priority in any applicable law providing free tertiary education.

The officers, men and women of the AFP and the PNP deserve nothing less than a reasonable and tangible recognition of their dedication and commitment to the country, especially their families who, when they are killed or wounded in action or operation, are somewhat left hollow both emotionally, spiritually and financially, Escudero said in a statement.

The gallantry, bravery and heroism in making the ultimate sacrifice for the flag, freedom and democracy can never be understated. We should honor them according to what they truly deserve, he added.

Escudero said that his measure differs from Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara's measure to create a Bangon Marawi Fund which is going to be used for rehabilitation.

Source: Philippines News Agency