President Rodrigo Duterte’s Christmas gift to members of the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary Service (CAA) is Executive Order 69, which grants them financial support reflecting his concern to those providing an important service to the country, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said.
“This is his Christmas gift to the CAA,” said Go, who pushed for the grant of financial support.
Duterte’s EO provides financial support of P7,000 per month for November
and December 2018 to qualified CAA members appearing in the order maintained by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). There are currently over 100,000 members of the CAA nationwide.
Members of CAA units under the AFP roster but still undergoing training shall be entitled to a pro-rated portion of the financial support upon satisfactory completion of their required training.
Funding for the financial support for November and December 2018 will be sourced from the 2018 budget’s Contingent Fund.
However, President Duterte also directed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to study and propose measures to continue the financial support to the CAA on a monthly basis for the succeeding years. The DBM was also tasked to identify funding sources for such purpose.
“It is but right and proper to provide them with decent support in recognition of their important role in helping our AFP deal with security threats at great risk to their lives and families and yet they are presently receiving very little benefits,” Go stressed.
Vital help provided
CAA units support the AFP by providing vital military intelligence, joining traditional and non-traditional military operations, securing conflict-affected communities and acting as the first responder during natural calamities.
Since they are considered as volunteer reservists under the AFP, CAA are only entitled to a subsistence allowance of P150 per day. They receive other benefits such as combat clothing and individual equipment and hospitalization and medical care for injuries or sickness during the line of duty as well as death and burial benefits.
Go, who is running for a Senate seat in the 2019 midterm elections, said if elected he would push for better benefits for the CAA and other volunteer workers in government.
According to him, the grant of financial support to CAA is in line with his legislative agenda that includes localized peace talks meant to encourage rebels to return to the fold of the law and ensure peace and order in the countryside that is necessary for development and progress.
More Malasakit Centers
Go is also pushing for better delivery of health services through the Malasakit Centers which he helped establish during his stint as Mr. Duterte’s assistant.
Malasakit Centers are one-stop shops where all concerned government agencies are represented to make it easy for poor patients to avail themselves of financial and medical assistance.
He is a staunch supporter of President Duterte’s fight against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. He also seeks to promote agriculture and food security, housing for the poor, improved educational support, sports and youth development, fire protection and prevention and the creation of a department of Overseas Filipino Worker.
“I just want to follow the steps of President Duterte who has nothing but the interest of the people in his heart,” he explained.