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DSWD: Families of SAF 44 need livelihood assistance

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DSWD: Families of SAF 44 need livelihood assistance
Some families also need medical assistance and subsistence allowance

MANILA, Philippines – At least 16 families left behind by the fallen Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) troopers need livelihood assistance, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The department learned this through their “one-on-one interviews” with the families of the elite cops killed in the January 25 clash with Moro rebels in Maguindanao.

“The interviews are meant to assess and facilitate the provision of the immediate additional needs of the families,” DSWD said in a statement Wednesday, February 11.

The families will also undergo critical incident stress debriefing (CISD), where social workers help victims in dealing with the trauma caused by a crisis such as the death of a family member.

But the stress debriefing will have to wait until after the mourning period or “until the families are ready.” (READ: Families of slain cops to receive counseling, aid)

On January 25, 392 commandos of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) were involved in an operation to arrest two “high-value targets,” alleged bomb makers Malaysian Zulkifli bin Hir, better known as “Marwan,” and Filipino Abdul Basit Usman.

A clash with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF – is under separate investigations by the government, the MILF, and lawmakers – led to the death of 44 SAF troopers, at least 17 MILF members, and some civilians.

As of Wednesday, DSWD has already interviewed 16 families.

“Some of them articulated their need for subsistence allowance to sustain the basic needs of their children and elderly parents,” the statement read.

Other families are also requesting medical assistance. Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said social workers are already assisting them in applying for PhilHealth and senior citizen’s cards.

“Having lost the breadwinner in the family, I can understand their appeal. We will do our best to grant their request,” Soliman added. 

As of Wednesday, DSWD has received cash donations of P381,845.80 ($8,610.89) through the DSWD account for Armed Conflict in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. (READ: How to help the families of the 44 PNP-SAF officers) – Jee Y. Geronimo/

*US1$ = P44.34


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