Issue of September 9, 2018
     
NEWS
Benguet
Mt. Province
 
OPINION
 

71th Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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PVAO wishes higher veteran’s pension
by PNA release

The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) is wishing that Senate Bill 1766, which seeks to raise war veterans’ monthly pension from P5,000 to P20,000  would be approved by Christmas.

The higher pension will benefit more than 6,000 World War II veterans PVAO Administrator and Defense Usec. Ernesto Carolina said.

Carolina said the Department of Budget and Management had given its go signal for the P880 million needed to fund the increase.

He said the measure must be approved soon, as the war veterans are passing away.

He said from more than 350,000 soldiers during World War II, there are now only about 6,000 veterans nationwide who are alive. Their average age is 92, with 107 years old as the oldest.

“There is an average of 300 World War II veterans passing away every day,” the retired military leader lamented.

“We are estimating that in five years, wala nang matitira sa kanila kaya inaapura natin na maibigay lahat yung mga benepisyo nila. We hope ma-approve ng Presidente ‘yan bago magtapos ang taon para sa World War II veterans.”

Carolina said because of the declining number of war veterans due to old age, PVAO is now even prioritizing the veterans’ pension hike over those of the retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Once approved, the P15,000 additional monthly pension will apply for the surviving veterans. The spouses of the veterans, who had passed away, will still receive P5,000 monthly, Carolina said.

Carolina also said that under the administration, the arrears in the pension of the veterans have been settled, including the disability pension.

Since the war veterans are now aging, their problems on hospitalization and medication are being addressed, Carolina said.

They need not go to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) for hospitalization anymore, he said.

The plan, he said, was to come up with VMMC branches nationwide, but while there’s none, the veterans can seek medical attention in any hospital.

He added that the President’s social fund has been supporting improvements at the VMMC.

“Number one on the list of the President’s social fund is medicines for the veterans, soldiers, and for the hospital’s improvement. He also gave money to assure continued fund for medicines and increased the budget of the PVAO’s fund for veterans’ hospitalization and medical care program,” Carolina said.

For this year, he said P100M has been allotted from the social fund for the veterans’ hospitalization and medical care program.

He said PVAO is expecting the amount to increase to P150M in 2019, until it reaches P300M by 2022, before Duterte finishes his term.


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