Wednesday, April 19, 2017

DSWD execs join Pres. Duterte in Batangas to visit family of soldier killed in Bohol encounter

From the Philippine Information Agency (Apr 19): DSWD execs join Pres. Duterte in Batangas to visit family of soldier killed in Bohol encounter

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary for Special Concerns, Jose Antonio Hernandez, together with Field Office (FO) CALABARZON Regional Director Leticia T. Diokno, joined President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier today to give comfort and assurances of the government's support to the family of slain 2Lt. Estelito Saldua, Jr.

The 23-year-old soldier from Barangay Mojon Tampoy in San Jose, Batangas was killed-in-action (KIA) while conducting combat operations against members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in Inabanga, Bohol on April 11.

Dir. Diokno informed DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo that DSWD-FO CALABARZON has provided the bereaved family with burial assistance and food subsidy in the amount of P10,000. The FO will also provide educational assistance to the soldier’s younger siblings.

“I spoke with the parents of 2Lt. Saldua and I have learned that he was the breadwinner of his family. He was the major source of family support, especially on the education of his two younger siblings, who will become 4th Year Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) and Senior High School students this coming school year,” Dir. Diokno shared.

The FO will also include the soldier’s sister to the Government Internship Program (GIP) of the DSWD this summer to be deployed right in the Municipality of San Jose. She will work with the Field Office’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) team.

Moreover, Dir. Diokno said that the FO would also coordinate with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Education (DepEd) for other services that they need. The regional directors of DILG and DepED were also present during the visit.

“The mother of 2Lt. Saldua who is selling vegetable and other food products will be assessed for livelihood assistance, while his father is being offered a job by DILG on a job-order basis, subject to renewal after six months. Meanwhile, his sister who is taking up BSEd will be offered a job at DepEd once she completes her course,” Dir. Diokno added.

For his part, Asec. Hernandez said, “The DSWD is offering its deepest sympathy to the bereaved family of 2Lt. Saldua and the families of other soldiers killed-in-action in Bohol who defended the province against the threat of terrorism. The bravery and heroism of these soldiers will forever be engraved in our hearts. The DSWD will provide all the assistance it can to the bereaved families of the soldiers to help them cope with their loss.”

On April 11, government troops clashed with suspected members of the bandit group Abu Sayyaf as the group tried to attack Sitio Ilaya, in the remote village of Napo in Inabanga town. The incident killed ten people, including four soldiers and six members of the terrorist group; and displaced hundreds of residents.

The military continues to hunt for other members of Abu Sayyaf who escaped the encounter.

Also present during the visit were Presidential Adviser for Southern Tagalog, Dennis Hernandez, and Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas.

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