DAVAO CITY- More help from the Army is delivered for the victims of typhoon Pablo that claimed the lives of at least two thousand people into two bordering provinces here in December last year.
Lt General Emmanuel Bautista, the Commanding General of the Philippine Army, personally handed-over the checks totaling P7,294,950.00 to at least 360 soldiers of the 10th Infantry who were affected by the typhoon.
The money was voluntarily donated by all Army personnel out of their meal allowance for the month of January.
The beneficiaries of the financial assistance include the families of the seven soldiers who perished in the floods and four soldiers who have remained missing. The family of beneficiaries under this category will be given an assistance of P50,000.00 each.
Meanwhile, the 22 injured soldiers as well as the 111 others who have incurred at least P100,000.00 of damages in their residential homes, will receive P40,000.00 each.
Each of the 219 personnel whose homes incurred minor damages estimated to be less than one hundred thousand pesos, will receive an amount of P6,506.62 each.
As part of the program, 10 more soldiers were conferred the Bronze Cross Medal for acts of heroism involving risk of life, during the onslaught of typhoon Pablo.
It can be recalled that 21 other soldiers of the 66th Infantry Battalion based in Andap, also received same citation for braving the floods to save hapless victims, causing the deaths of 7 soldiers and injuries to 21 others who survived after being swept away by strong currents.
Bautista said that he is happy that he is proud of the selfless services rendered by the soldiers during calamities.
“Masaya ako na tuloy-tuloy ninyong ginagampanan ang inyong mga tungkulin maging sa panahon ng mga kalamidad. Hindi lamang ang inyong Punong Heneral ang kumikilala sa inyong ginagawa kundi ang buong sambayanan, na nakakakita sa ating naipamalas na serbisyo at kabayanihan,” he said.
The members of the Philippine Military Class of 1981 have also selected 13 individuals from the typhoon ravaged town of New Bataan to be granted scholarship.
All of the scholars have relatives who perished in the heavy flooding that occurred on the day typhoon Pablo hit the areas in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
Vanessa Fe Baga, 18, of Poblacion, New Bataan was one of them. Two of her siblings are still missing and some of her relatives died during the floods that fateful day on December 4.
She said that she never thought that she will ever finish college after losing all their belongings and their livelihood sources wiped out.
“I couldn’t believe the news that I was handpicked among many other victims to become a full-time scholar. Now, I will be able to pursue my dream of finishing college so that I can get a decent job,”said Baga, a 3rd year AB Social Science student of Bukidnon State University-New Bataan.
Marvin Detomal, 17, a long-time resident of Barangay Andap, lost both his parents in the rampaging floods that swept the whole neighborhood.
Detomal and two other siblings are now being adopted by a local official in New Bataan town. He never thought he will finish college education to achieve his dream of becoming a policeman.
“I am very thankful for this big help given to us by the generous military officers. I am aiming to get a degree in Criminology so that I could serve in the local police force here in my province in the near future,” said Detomal, a high school sophomore from Andap National High School.
Bautista said that the beneficiaries of the scholarship grants will receive modest allowances to sustain their studies until they finish college.
The support system for the PMA Class 81 scholarship grant is patterned to the one used by AFP Educational Benefit System Office.