The President made the announcement at the Bonifacio Naval Station Officers’ Clubhouse Social Hall, at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City during the launching of the Department of Agriculture’s Karne, Isda Supply Suporta sa Masa at Ekonomiya (Kiss Me) project.
Soldiers wounded during the five-month conflict were in attendance along with military top brass and other members of the Armed Forces.
“Alam mo, sinabi ko na sa inyo, mahal ko ang sundalo ko, mahal ko ang pulis ko. And for you guys, kagaya ninyo na medyo matindi ang tama, I have released PHP500 million,” Duterte said.
He said the fund would be sourced from the settlement of unpaid obligations of big companies to the government.
Just recently, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) settled almost PHP6 billion in unpaid navigational fees to the government..
Duterte said the fund would be used exclusively for the therapy, rehabilitation and medicines needed by personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who were wounded not just in the five-month conflict, but also those who are wounded or rendered disabled in the other theaters of war throughout the country.
“I just released PHP500 million, para lang ‘yan sa tinamaan. Exclusively para lang ‘yan sa sugatan, requirements ninyo sa prosthetics or whatever. ‘Yan ang asahan ninyo,” he said.
“I’m sure you’ll be all right. Okay ang buhay ninyo, wala kayong problema. Edukasyon ng anak ninyo, ‘yung medisina. But one thing is sure, hindi kayo pababayaan ng gobyerno,” Duterte said.
The President also vowed to provide a housing project near camps or urban cities for wounded soldiers undergoing therapy to give them better access to medical facilities.
“Ang sinabi ko, 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. Lahat ‘yung mga sundalo na ganun ang sitwasyon ninyo, pati ‘yung wounded recuperating, ‘yung parang convalescence I have ordered a village somewhere near Metro Manila para easy access lang,” he said.
“I want to build a village near here so that you’ll have the best therapy, training and access to the hospital and medyo mas malapit. It will be maybe, just give me until March, matatapos ‘yang village ninyo including the site,” Duterte said.
Meanwhile, the Commander-in-Chief said the government would provide disabled military personnel necessary competencies, like computer training, for them to be able to remain in the service or build new lives.
“But for those who are really, pardon the word, tutal tanggapin na lang niyo, it’s reality, disabled, mayroon kayong buhay na sarili. Wala kayong problema sa edukasyon. I said, aming problema na ‘yan. Ang iyo, there’s another struggle. Struggle first to overcome what you are experiencing now at nandiyan kami,” he said.
“You might want to go to a computer training or whatever. And if you can be accommodated in the AFP again for a job that does not require moving around, I’d be glad to fund the program,” Duterte said.-PNA