Secretary of National Defense Delfin Lorenzana directed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon T Santos Jr. to provide necessary military assistance to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and other agencies undertaking the distribution of aid to communities.
The Defense Secretary issued the guidance to the AFP following the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to the AFP to assist the DSWD in distributing cash assistance to poor households under the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Secretary Lorenzana told the AFP that all area commanders must “field sufficient force to avoid ambuscades or attacks whether on the move or at the distribution venue.”
“We feel the expressed desire of the President to provide immediate intervention measures to address the need to bring amelioration assistance to the people forthwith. The AFP will comply,” AFP Spokesperson BGEN Edgard Arevalo said in a statement.
“Hearing this directive from the Commander in Chief, our Field Commanders will institute necessary adjustment in our troops deployment,” Arevalo said.
Pursuant to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, the government allotted P200-billion emergency subsidy for about 18 million low-income households affected by the COVID19 pandemic.