By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is working to facilitate the release of the second batch of cash assistance to the relatives of the 44 Special Action Force (SAF) personnel who were killed-in-action during the Mamasapano clash in 2015.
To expedite the release of the second tranche of special financial assistance (SFA), the Department, through its field offices, will assist the dependents in completing the liquidation reports and other supporting documents for the first portion of assistance released to them.
In the last quarter of 2015, DSWD released the first tranche of the SFA amounting to P11,378,338.59 to 71 dependents.
The funding for the assistance was sourced from the President’s Social Fund or PSF of the previous administration under the “Social Services Program for the Families of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police Personnel killed in Military and Police Operations.”
The program was created through an inter-agency collaboration of the DSWD, Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS).
It aims to provide sustainable livelihood and skills training, education, and medical assistance to the bereaved families of KIA personnel.
DSWD, as the lead social protection agency, conducted assessment of the skills and capabilities of the dependents to determine the appropriate and viable livelihood projects that they can implement.
The Department also assisted them in the preparation of their project proposals and subsequently monitors the status of their project implementation.
The tragic Mamasapano incident occurred during a police operation on Jan. 25, 2015 at Tukanalipao in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.
The SAF-led operations against the Bangasamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front was intended to capture wanted Malaysian terrorist and bomb maker Zulkifli bin Hir, also known as Marwan, and other high-ranking members of the BIFF.