Senator Sonny Trillanes IV has sponsored Senate Bill No. 1463 or the bill granting educational assistance and benefits to the dependents of the members of the uniformed and law enforcement personnel who are killed or permanently incapacitated in line of duty.
In the sponsorship speech delivered by Trillanes, chairman of the Senate committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, he emphasized: “Our uniformed and law enforcement personnel place their lives on the line every day. It is, thus, only fair for the government to give preference and priority to their welfare and of their families, especially when something untoward happens in the performance of their duty.”
The legislator further explained that in the past years, the legislature has enacted various measures that seek to provide additional benefits to the dependents of uniformed personnel. However, some of these measures covered only uniformed personnel, and may have unintentionally overlooked members of other law enforcement agencies, who also face the same or similar risks to which the uniformed personnel are exposed to. Furthermore, these laws providing benefits to the dependents of uniformed personnel limit the assistance, in the case the educational assistance, to only one dependent, which is far from being fair and ideal.
Under SBN 1463, the surviving children of the deceased or permanently incapacitated members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) will be given a full scholarship from kindergarten to tertiary level. Said scholarship grant shall include the payment of tuition, miscellaneous fees, allowance for books, school supplies, and food and transportation.
Moreover, the surviving spouse of the concerned personnel may also avail of the scholarship grant and in case the deceased or disabled personnel is single, his or her qualified dependent siblings may also avail of the said educational assistance and benefits.
This measure also seeks to create a Uniformed and Law Enforcement Personnel Scholarship Board which shall serve as the policy making body vested with the authority to come up with the mechanics, scope and limitations, and requirements for the scholarships, assistance and benefits.
“Passing this measure is the least we can do as a token of our eternal gratitude for our uniformed and law enforcement personnel’s unwavering commitment and their life of service to the country,” the lawmaker further added.