MANILA—Expressing his deep concerns to children who were left to custody of widowed mothers due to war, President Rodrigo Duterte has underscored the need for an average soldier to have only two to three children.
“You should also teach them family planning. It should be programmed already. The most, an average soldier should have only three (children). That’s boundary,” the President said during traditional dinner with Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Council of Sergeants Major last Tuesday night.
President Duterte said some of the wounded in action soldiers he visited in different military hospitals throughout the country have up to eight children each.
“I pity the human being specially the widow. So we have to come up with this program,” the President said.
The President said children of the soldiers killed in action should have free education from elementary to college.
“I can’t wait for the law to be passed. We have no money but we have reserve. But the expenses that we have to meet, the challenges of expenditures, is to be collected,” Duterte, a soldier’s son, said.
He said the soldiers’ widows should automatically be given job or livelihood to support their children.
“Usually, DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) is in charge of that. Casual or whatever, what is important is they have work in the near government office,” the President said.
“Aside from work, I will include them also to our 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) so that they have additional food and money,” he added.
President Duterte also emphasized the need to keep the morale of the soldiers high by addressing all their needs particularly in sending children to schools, health care and even financial.
The President said the proposed compensation adjustment packaged will increased by 40 percent on the average for all ranks.
“There has to be something on the table. So these are the things that we would like to accomplish as we go along the way,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte reiterated his promise to provide every soldier a caliber 45 Glock.
“I have decided to arm everybody and I have already ordered thousands. I will spend billions but since I promised the soldiers, I will really comply with it,” the President said, drawing applause from his audience.