GRATITUDE from the government for services rendered came to 19 dependents and survivors of barangay officials who died in the performance of their duties.
Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno himself, assisted by Bohol provincial director Rustica Mascarinas handed checks worth P12,000 each to dependents and survivors of barangay officials in simple ceremonies at the Legaspi Suite of the Bohol Tropics Resort last week.
During the turn-over of the financial assistance checks, Sec. Puno reiterated that the "small contribution from the government [is] in recognition for the public service rendered by [your] loved ones".
"Take this as acknowledgment from the government", he said.
"While this may be not enough to heal the wound left by your departed loved ones who worked in government, take it as the government's expression of gratitude", he said in Filipino.
A recipient who asked not be named said she would like to thank the government because the assistance goes a long way in helping the family cope with a lost husband and the hard times.
The government has set aside a fund for the payment of death benefits of barangay officials who died during the term of office, one aptly called Barangay Officials Death Benefits Fund.
The fund, managed by the Department of Budget and Management for payment of death benefits of Barangay Officials such as the Punong Barangay, Seven Barangay Kagawads, SK President as Ex-officio Barangay Kagawad, Secretary and Treasurer who died in their term of office.
The funds are released to and administered by the DILG in accordance with its rules and regulations.
Secretary Puno came to Bohol Friday to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the government of the Philippines through Bohol Governor Erico Aumentado and Canadian International Development Agency for project assistance in Local Government Support Project Local Economic Development.
While here, Puno also met the entire DILG family as well as attended the joint conferences of the key councils and leagues in Bohol. (PIA)