The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has facilitated the release of a total of P582.5-million in financial assistance to 2,330 beneficiaries of cops and soldiers who were wounded or killed in action or during military or police operations as of June 1 this year.
“Aside from the fulfilled promise of President Duterte to double the salary of uniformed personnel, the DILG has been instrumental in realizing the President’s commitment for a comprehensive social assistance to the police force and soldiers,” says DILG OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año.
Among those who are currently receiving financial assistance are the families of six police officers killed in a misencounter with Army troopers in Samar on June 25.
Año says this is aside from the total of P61.5-million released to 246 beneficiaries who have been given the second tranche upon completion of a capacity building training facilitated by the DILG and the Department of National Defense (DND). Other agencies of the government involved in this effort are Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Department of Trade and Industry, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, among others.
According to the DILG Chief, the financial assistance provided to cops’ and soldiers’ beneficiaries is made possible through the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP) for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) battle or duty casualties and their beneficiaries.
The DILG is the lead agency in overseeing the implementation of the program in collaboration with 18 other government agencies of the CSBP through the Killed and Wounded-in-Action One Stop Assistance Program Management Office (KIA/WIA OSA-PMO), which ensures that assistance from different government agencies are coordinated and are timely given to police or military casualties or their beneficiaries.
Año, a former chief of the AFP, says, “The CSBP is one of the much-needed reform programs that this administration has turned to reality. Dati’y walang koordinasyon ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno sa dapat na tulong na natatanggap ng magigiting nating kasundaluhan at kapulisan. Now the provision of benefits is streamlined as a one-government assistance package. Ito ang tatak ng pagbabago.”
Benefits in CSBP
The benefits under the CSBP are special financial assistance from the Office of the President amounting to P500,000 for killed-in-action (KIA) or killed-in-police-operations (KIPO) given in two tranches; P100,000 for wounded-in-action (WIA) or wounded-in-police-operations (WIPO) personnel with major or minor injuries; P250,000 for WIA and WIPO with Total Permanent Physical Disability (TPPD).
The DILG also facilitates the employment of beneficiaries in the DILG regional or provincial offices, local government units, and other regional government agencies. As of the 13th of July, 336 have been given employment assistance.
“The DILG recognizes that employment of a family member of a police or military casualty is an enabling and sustainable means of source of income for them. Malaking bagay na may hanapbuhay ang miyembro ng pamilya ng nasawi o sugatang pulis o sundalo para suportahan sila at manatiling matatag,” Año says.
Moreover, 145 have received shelter assistance from the National Housing Authority which is a housing unit grant worth P450,000 or provision of P100,000 for housing repair as of June 1.
The Department of Health and Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) have also provided health care assistance, which is a PhilHealth annual premium worth P2,400 and coverage of hospitalization expenses and maintenance of medicines, to 374 beneficiaries as of June 1.
Moreover, an education assistance is an annual stipend for two dependents of which 276 have been given as of June 1.
“More than a hundred of benefit packages are still in process and to make it faster and more efficient, the DILG has conducted Regional Working Group cascading sessions of CSBP in all regions nationwide except in Central Luzon and Metro Manila so far,” he says.
Inclusion of BFP, BJMP, PCG
The DILG Chief reveals that the planned inclusion of uniformed personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the CSBP coverage is approved during a high-level meeting and a draft Executive Order is now for the signature and endorsement to the Office of the President.
“This is in recognition of the critical role of uniformed personnel outside the AFP and PNP who also risk their lives in the name of peace and order and public safety. Ito’y pagkilala sa kanilang tapang at malasakit,” Año says.