President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will bestow the Lapu-Lapu Presidential Awards to seven soldiers, wounded in action (WIA), when he visits the Camp Adriano Fernandez in Dingle, Iloilo on Thursday.
The soldiers, members of the 61st Infantry Division of the Philippine Army were victims of ambush staged by the New People’s Army at Barangay Pangilihan, Janiuay this province last October 16, would also be receiving certificates of egg layer machines (ELM) as part of the livelihood program of the camp.
The provision of the ELM is part of the KISS ME (Karne, Isda, Supply, Suporta sa Masa at Ekonomiya) project that will be established inside the camp. The ELM is donated by the Aboitiz Group and the Circle of Life.
KISS ME is a partnership project of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of National Defense (DND) that aims to give WIA soldiers the opportunity to manage their own outlets to support their livelihood.
Duterte will also launch the “TienDA Para Sa Mga Bayani” inside the camp.
It is a marketing scheme that allows farmers and fisherfolk to sell their produce directly to the consumers in military camps nationwide, said the DA Regional Agri-Fishery Information Section (RAFIS).
DND and DA have an agreement to establish the “TienDA Para Sa Mga Bayani” in 20 camps nationwide amounting to PHP10 million.
RAFIS, in a press statement, said that farmers, fisherfolk and livestock raisers from the municipality of Dingle and neighboring towns would bring basic commodities like rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs, meat, and fish which would be sold at farm gate price or cheaper than the market price.
In addition to livelihood projects, Duterte is expected to chat with the soldiers to boost their morale, according to 301st Infantry Brigade Commander Col. Pio Diñoso.
He will also be joining the troops in a boodle fight, he added.
Prior to the Dingle event, Duterte will visit the wake of Joanna Demafelis in Brgy, Ferraris, Sara, Iloilo. (With reports from Cindy Ferrer/PNA)