Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday said the DOLE has responded to requests for livelihood assistance of 19 family-beneficiaries of the 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force (SAF) who perished in the Mamasapano incident, and had released as of date a total of P444,829 to 16 of the 19 beneficiaries.


“This is what we at the DOLE have delivered as our commitment. This does not include the assistance of other convergence partners in the national government, such as the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Interior and Local Government, Health, and Philippine National Police. They, too, have provided assistance to the families of the gallant police officers,” Baldoz said, adding:


Earlier, Baldoz said the DOLE, through its Employees Compensation Commission, has facilitated the release of P979,755.49 in employees’ compensation benefits to the beneficiaries of the SAF 44. The compensation benefits consists of a pension—ranging from P706.50 to P3,774.08 a month (depending on the salary of the individual SAF member, length of service, and number of minor dependents) for the surviving spouse until she remarries, and 10 percent of that pension for up to five children until they reach the age of 21—and funeral benefits of P20,000.


“Of the 19 who requested for livelihood assistance, one beneficiary said she is no longer interested; one is still abroad but will soon return; and one has yet to decide because he is currently working.”


Citing a report of the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), which monitors the compliance of DOLE Regional Offices to her directive to prioritize the families and beneficiaries of the slain SAF members, Baldoz said the delivery of livelihood assistance depended on what the beneficiaries requested, with the DOLE providing the guidelines and handholding.


In the National Capital Region, the DOLE-NCR, through its Quezon City Field Office, has assisted Richard Cempron, brother of slain SAF member PO1 Romeo Cempron, who hailed from Danao, Bohol, to set-up a computer game shop called PISO-Net.


“The DOLE-NCR has bought Richard Cempron two game consoles worth P29,200. He put up a counterpart of one game console worth P14,600 and so he is in the computer game business today. The Quezon City Field Office is monitoring his progress,” Baldoz said.


Baldoz said the family-beneficiaries of slain SAF member PO3 Robert Allaga from Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) requested for livelihood assistance from the DOLE and the requests have been granted.


Erlinda Allaga, the mother, had received P10,000 in goods for her sari-sari store and an additional assistance of P10,000 under the DOLE Integrated Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (DILEEP. A brother, Romy Allaga, received P10,000 worth of piglets for his swine raising business and another P10,000 in additional capital under the DILEEP. All in all, the Allaga beneficiaries received P40,000 in livelihood assistance from the DOLE-CAR.


In Region 2, the DOLE has assisted the couple Santiago and Gloria Baluga, who hail from Piat, Cagayan Valley, and the parents of slain SAF member P02 Richelle Baluga, by providing them a farm equipment (watering machine) worth P10,000.  To a sister, Violeta B. Birung, the DOLE regional office awarded her P10,000 worth of goods for her sari-sari store.


To the family-beneficiaries of the late SAF member P01 Oliebeth Viernes, the DOLE regional office provided his mother, Petra Viernes, a sewing machine worth P10,000; his sister, Lareth Viernes, a starter kit consisting of supplies for her school supplies store valued at P10,000; and another sister, Marjorie V. Orteza, a sewing machine valued at P10,000.


Baldoz clarified that another beneficiary, Melanie Duque, wife of slain SAF member PO3 Andres Duque of Aurora, Isabela, and a sari-sari store owner, had submitted a proposal for additional capital for her sari-sari store amounting to P298,899, but this was not submitted to the DOLE, but to the DSWD Central Office.


“I have instructed the DOLE Regional Office in Cagayan Valley to follow-up the proposal with the DSWD, and if it is not approved, to fund the proposal out of DOLE’s livelihood funds for 2016,” Baldoz said.


In Region 3, the DOLE Regional Office No. 3 assisted Nicky Nacino, Sr. of Dimatubo, San Luis, Aurora in putting up a “Bigasang Bayan” rice retailing store, providing him P10,000 worth of rice as start-up capital for the livelihood. The elder Nacino is the father of slain SAF member PO2 Nicky Nacino, Jr.


In Morong, Bataan, the regional office had also provided P10,000 worth of supplies for the sar-sari store of Raechel June Sumbilla, a public school teacher and wife of slain SAF member PO3 John Lloyd Sumbilla.


In Region 7, husband-and-wife Eusebio and Marciana Candano of Lawa-an, Dumanjug, Cebu, had received P213,129 for their hog raising business under the DILEEP. The parents of slain SAF member PO1 Windel Candano used the amount to rehabilitate their business and to build pig pens after they resumed business operation.


Still in Region 7, the DOLE had delivered feeds, pig pen materials, and 10 piglets worth P79,000 to Proserfina Cempron, the mother of SAF member PO1 Romeo Cempron in Danao, Bohol, for her backyard piggery. When she found it a bit difficult to take care of the piglets on account of her age, she sold the piglets, and bought a sow, with the intention of just producing piglets instead of growing them.


In Region 9, the DOLE regional office had provided Veronica de los Santos, sister of slain SAF member PInsp. Rennie L. Tayrus, livelihood assistance in the form of peanut processing starter kit worth P6,700. De Los Santos, from Dumalinao, Zamboanga del Sur, has made good in her home business and had requested the DOLE an additional P6,700 this year for the purchase of an electric grinder and other food processing tools and jigs.


The DOLE Regional Office No. 9 had also provided assistance to Federico Daquiwag, the father-in-law of slain SAF member PInsp. Joey Gamutan. He put up a welding shop with DOLE’s assistance and received a welding machine worth P6,800.


Only one request for livelihood has been received by the DOLE in Region 10, that of Perlito Agabon, father of SAF member PO2 Chum Agabon. The father has requested for a van-for-hire, but the regional office suggested a group enterprise because the van-for-hire livelihood is an individual business and would cost P1 million. Mr. Agabon and his children has not made a decision yet because he is presently employed in Manila.


In Region 12 where the Mamasapano incident happened, the DOLE regional office had set aside P500,000 for the livelihood of the families displaced by the encounter, but no one had availed of the assistance. This is according to Regional Director Ofelia Domingo who, as head of the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC), facilitated a convergence outreach program, “One Stop, Big Time Peace and Solidarity Assistance Hub”  in Pikit, Cotabato to help the 875 families of Brgy. Kabasalan affected by the armed conflict that led to the Mamasapano incident.


For livelihood, there was only one request for assistance in the region. This was from Rhodora Cordero, who is an OFW in Norway and a sister of SAF member PO2 Roger C. Cordero of Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. She planned to put up an aquaculture business upon her return this January and Regional Director Ofelia Domingo said the regional office will prioritize her request.


Baldoz said a beneficiary, Margaret Manuel, the common-law wife of slain SAF member PO2 Joel Dulnuan, and from Lunsuran, Zamboanga City, had requested for both livelihood and employment assistance. For livelihood, the Department of Social Welfare and Development provided her four computer units for a computer business and so indicated she was not interested in availing of DOLE livelihood assistance. The DOLE, however, sent her for computer training with the TESDA.


“We are open to further provide livelihood assistance under our livelihood programs to all the 16 beneficiaries if they would like to enhance their home businesses,” Baldoz finally said.



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