BAGUIO CITY, Jan. 8(PIA) — Almost a month into the first anniversary of the Mamasapano encounter in Maguindanao, the bereaved families of the Special Action Force (SAF) heroes from the Cordillera received livelihood assistance from the government.
Department of Social Welfare and Development Sec. Corazon “Dinky” Soliman said that the DSWD has released Php 1,694,536.90 worth of livelihood assistance to the families of the 13 Cordilleran SAF members who were killed in the Mamasapano incident on January 25, 2015.
“Nagbigay napo kami ng livelihood assistance program sa 13 families ng SAF from Cordillera ayon sa kanilang na identify na proyekto,” said Soliman who was the guest of honor during the Regional Multi-Stakeholders’ Conference on Community Driven Development last December 28 at the Pines View Hotel here.
The financial assistance is from the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the DSWD, she said, adding that DSWD continues to help and support in any way the bereaved families of the Cordillera SAF members.
The family members including some parents of the slain SAF, received the first tranche of the livelihood assistance corresponding to 70% of the proposed project cost. The remaining 30% of the proposed funding assistance will be provided upon the full utilization of the release.
DSWD-Cordilleras OIC- Regional Director Janet Armas added the livelihood assistance is still part of the interventions being given to the families of the SAF heroes to help them recover.
The DSWD has provided earlier last year financial assistance and psychosocial interventions to all the families of the SAF in the Cordillera.
Meanwhile, Police Regional Office – Cordillera Acting Regional Director PCSupt. Ulysses Abellera said that the PNP also has been continuously helping the bereaved families of the Cordillera SAF members.
He added that the National Headquarters has also opened a trust fund for donations from the police officers and from other individuals who want to help in any way the families of the fallen SAF heroes.
In July last year, children of the SAF were granted “educational assistance certificates” and 60 relatives of the SAF 44 were given scholarships under the Presidential Social Fund and the Commission on Higher Education.
Surviving kin of the SAF 44 received, “a total of P69,566,524.88 in lump sum benefits, P1,016,995.70 pension benefits and P35,367,333.00 donations from the Senate of the Philippines, Congress, Local Government Units , PNP, other government agencies and private donors as of July last year.
Some local government units and private individuals and groups have extended financial aid directly to the SAF 44 families and are not recorded by the PNP or the DSWD./JDP/RMC- PIA CAR