The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said that it has already begun to act on the instructions of President Rodrigo Duterte to provide its counterpart assistance to the families of some 95 soldiers who were wounded in action (WIA) and four soldiers who were killed in action (KIA).
Malacanang has instructed the DSWD along with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to provide assistance to the families and widows of the soldiers K/WIA.
Undersecretary for Institutional Development Group (IDG) and presidential appointee Mae Fe Ancheta-Templa said that the DSWD's Protective Services Fund Management Office led by Director Pacita Sarino has already forwarded the list of the K/WIA soldiers, including information on their dependents to the DSWD-Field Offices where the soldiers' families live. The status of the families will be subjected to assessment and eligibility for the various programs of the DSWD, not necessarily only the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
"We have an existing system to deliver the most apt and suitable services for the dependents of the K/WIA soldiers, and this system is implemented through the swift coordination between the DSWD Central Office and Field Offices. DSWD-FO social workers in the regions where the soldiers' dependents live will conduct home visits to determine their needs and assess what services and interventions can be provided to them. At the onset, the assistance that we can immediately provide are educational, livelihood, and employment opportunities through skills training for the dependents. If the soldiers have senior citizen parents, we can enroll them in the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens," said USec Ancheta-Templa.
She also said that four of the soldiers have already been assessed as 4Ps members, and their families will receive one sack of rice per month.
Usec. Ancheta-Templa said that the DSWD will provide Malacanang through the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) updates on the status of the assistance the DSWD and its Field Offices will provide the dependents of the KIA/WIA soldiers.
In the meantime, Usec. Ancheta-Templa expressed the department's support for the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)).
She said that the Duterte administration's efforts to forge peace with the NDFP should be supported because it will, inevitably, go a long way towards helping the Philippines achieve peace based on justice and lessen the bloodshed that comes as a result of the civil war.
On September 1, DSWD officials will give the department's report on the case management efforts done by the DSWD- Field Offices for the dependents of the K/WIA soldiers.
Source: Philippine Information Agency