MANILA, Philippines – Families have lost their loved ones and breadwinners in Marawi, and now government has to help support them, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) officer-in-charge Catalino Cuy told government agencies during a meeting on Friday, June 16.
He said dependents of soldiers and policemen who were either killed or wounded in action or in police operations (KIA-WIA/KIPO-WIPO) in the continuing clash in Marawi will need all the help.
The DILG tallied a total of 261 dependents, of whom 196 are dependents of members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and 65 are members of the Philippine National Police (PNP). (READ: Heroes of Marawi: List of soldiers, cops killed in action)
“We are doing the rounds to assist the families of KIA-WIA/KIPO-WIPO and we need all the help that we can get. This is the least that we can do to the families of our heroes,” Cuy said during the meeting.
In the same meeting, Presidential Management Staff Acting Head Undersecretary Ferdinand B. Cui also said, “The President’s instruction is direct and explicit: make sure that dependents of KIA-WIA/KIPO-WIPO [are] given all the assistance that is due him or her,” said Cui.
The DILG projected that a total of P28.2 million is needed to fund the salaries of the 261 dependents of KIA-WIA/KIPO-WIPO for 6 months at P18,000 per month for each dependent.
Cuy, for his part, committed that the DILG would hire more beneficiaries.
Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary for Regional Operations Zenaida Maglaya said small and medium enterprise (SMEs) could be viable employers of dependents too.
“Some may not be cut [out] to be entrepreneurs but we’ll see how we can coordinate with SMEs or bigger companies that could possibly hire the spouses and widows of our fallen uniformed personnel,” said Maglaya.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary for Regional Operations Bernard Olalia cited various employment programs of DOLE through the PESO (Public Employment for Service Office) or the Government Internship Program (GIP) that can be offered to dependents.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which provides financial literacy courses for all the dependents, informed those in the meeting that they are willing to employ about a hundred security personnel, provided they have “high qualifications” such as a 4-year degree course.
The Department of Health, the Department of Public Works and Highways and Department of Education also expressed their support for the initiative. – Rappler.com