President Rodrigo Roa Duterte announced Tuesday, November 7, that he has ordered the release of P500 million to fund medical and livelihood needs of soldiers wounded during the five-month long battle in Marawi.
The President made the announcement during the launching of Karne, Isda Supply, Suporta para sa Masa at Ekonomiya (Kiss Me) Project held at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City.
“I just released 500 million, para lang ‘yan sa tinamaan sa giyera,” he said in his speech.
He said part of the P500 million would be used for the construction of a housing project for injured soldiers.
“At this time when you are supposed to go into a therapy or treatment, I would like you to have a housing project or village nearby,” he said.
He noted that he would want the houses to be built within Metro Manila for soldiers to have easier access to hospitals for their therapy or treatment.
He said he would also provide prosthetics made of titanium to soldiers who would need them.
He likewise encouraged soldiers especially those who suffered amputation to undergo computer training so that they can continue to work in government with jobs which will not require them to move around.
“Gusto ko na mag-training muna kayo and gusto kong malaman ninyo na may buhay after Marawi, that there is life after Marawi,” he said.
During the Kiss Me launching, the Chief Executive led the ceremonial turnover of freezer units to the first five beneficiaries of the program as part of livelihood assistance.
The five uniformed personnel are: Corporal Renato Eucogco, Private First Class Clinton Bilan, Corporal Jeffrey Panesa, Corporal Rudybal Bambico and Seaman Herbert Bryan Briz.
The President also awarded them the Order of Lapu-Lapu with rank of Kampilan in recognition of their heroism in Marawi armed conflict.
Kiss Me is a project of the Department of Agriculture and Department of National Defense which aims to provide sustainable livelihood and income opportunities for wounded soldiers by giving them direct access to suppliers of poultry, meat and fish products.
The wounded troops will be given chillers, freezers, refrigerated vans and other cold storage facilities which will be placed in outlets to be set up initially in military camps. The outlets will be managed by wounded soldiers and their families.
The program is expected to boost the morale of wounded soldiers and help them increase their income.
Also present during the event were Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Rey Leonardo Guerrero and other military officials. PND