Heeding Duterte, AFP to assign soldiers to cash handout duty
MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would assign soldiers to cash handout duty after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the AFP to help the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) distribute cash to families stripped of incomes by COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Our field commanders will institute necessary adjustments in our troop deployment,” said Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesperson, in a statement.
Duterte, in a taped public address aired on Tuesday (May 12), said he asked retired general and now Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista to tap soldiers, preferably women, in distributing cash aid to beneficiaries.
“My order to him when we met earlier was to request his fellow soldiers before, because this guy has retired, to seek help from the armed forces in distributing money,” Duterte said.
The government initially set aside P200 billion in cash aid for low-income families for 2 months as stay-at-home orders displaced hundreds of thousands of workers.
Duterte said female soldiers should help out in the cash distribution because they generate more “empathy.”
Arevalo said the military felt the “express desire of the President to provide immediate intervention measures to address the need to bring amelioration assistance to the people.”
Edited by TSB
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