Government rebuilds families of fallen soldiers

With the financial assistance under the Comprehensive Social Benefits Program (CSBP) of the government, families left behind by soldiers who were killed in action have established small business ventures to help sustain their family needs.

A team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government IX (DILG-9) documented at least five beneficiaries of the program. Marilyn Gumampong, wife of the late Sgt. Johnny Gumampong and Cherry Joy Asan, wife of the late Cpl. Ricky Asan, both of Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay have started ‘sari-sari’ store in their own homes and were able to build boarding houses open for college students and young professionals to rent.

Norma Ampalo, mother of the late Pfc. Arhaine O. Ampalo, also from Buug, has a sari-sari store at the Buug Public Market where she earns enough to feed her family.

Francis Shawy Dela Cruz, wife of the late Cpl. Christopher Dela Cruz of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay has established a small business of perfumes and other beauty products.

May Amor Sawit, wife of Sgt. Jasyon Sawit of Pagadian City, was also able to construct a boarding house unit open for young professionals. She also produces bottled spicy bagoong products which she sells in nearby towns and provinces.

The DILG and the Department of National Defense are the lead agencies implementing the CSBP for the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police personnel who were killed/wounded in action (KIA/WIA) and killed in police operations/wounded in police operations (KIPO/WIPO).

The CSBP covers four levels of assistance. A Special Finance Assistance is granted in two tranches to the beneficiaries of KIA/KIPO in the amount of Php 500,000; PHP 250,000 to WIA/WIPO with total permanent physical disability (TPPD), and Php 100,000 to WIA/WIPO with major and minor injuries.

Other benefits are Shelter Assistance to families of KIA/WIPO and WIA/WIPO with TPPD worth Php 450,000; Health Care Assistance through coverage of premiums from the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation worth Php 2,400 per year, and maintenance of medicines provided by the Department of Health for qualified beneficiaries of KIA/KIPO personnel, and Educational Assistance in the provision of annual stipends for up to two children or other beneficiaries of KIA/KIPO and WIA/WIPO with TPPD.