President Marcos orders review of soldiers’ benefits

President orders review of soldiers’ benefits

HOSPITAL VISIT President Marcos talks to retired Ensign NoelTerrible, who is recuperating from a coronary artery bypass surgery, at Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City. The President promised better benefits to soldiers and war veterans during his visit to VMMC on Tuesday. —NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

HOSPITAL VISIT | President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. talks to retired Ensign Noel Terrible, who is recuperating from a coronary artery bypass surgery, at Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City. The president promised better benefits to soldiers and war veterans during his visit to VMMC on Tuesday. (Photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA | Philippine Daily Inquirer)

PILAR, BATAAN, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday ordered concerned agencies to review the prevailing compensation program for soldiers wounded in the line of duty amid the effects of inflation on the cost of basic goods.

In his speech during the commemoration of the 82nd Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) here, the president paid tribute to the sacrifices the troops gave for the country but lamented that they may not have been amply repaid.


“In recognition of (soldiers’) bravery and sacrifices, I am directing the defense, budget and finance departments to study the existing separation benefits of soldiers who incurred total permanent disability in the line of duty to see if these are commensurate to the sacrifices they have made and submit their recommendation while taking stock of the national government’s position,” he said.


In his speech, Marcos said the annual Araw ng Kagitingan remembrance is a tribute to Filipino war heroes from both past and present times.

READ: The better part of valor

‘Most important guests’ for Marcos

He referred to the war heroes who attended the event, led by about 40 seated behind him onstage, as the “most important guests.”

In his visit to Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City on Tuesday, the President assured war veterans of improved access to health care under his watch.

Marcos released a P150-million check to buy the hospital’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

“Excited for our new MRI at VMMC! With government support, we will continue to broaden access to vital treatments for our veterans and their families,” the President said in a post on Instagram.


In a statement, Malacañang said procuring a new, high-resolution MRI machine would enable VMMC’s doctors to “accurately diagnose critical cases.”

The P150 million came from the Office of the President’s Socio-Civic Projects Fund, formerly known as the President’s Social Fund, which is often tapped for medical and special financial assistance requests.

It was in response to the request of the Department of National Defense (DND) for funds to buy a new MRI machine for VMMC after its only MRI machine — bought in 2011 — conked out last year.

Hospital expansion

Marcos visited the VMMC’s Renal Dialysis Center as the country remembered the heroism of soldiers and guerrillas who fought during World War II.

VMMC is a tertiary-level government hospital with a 766-bed capacity providing health care and treatment to Filipino war veterans and retired military personnel.

Its Renal Dialysis Center offers free dialysis treatment and medicines to more than 200 patients, mostly war veterans, retired soldiers, and their dependents.

Malacañang said the center was also planning an expansion to accommodate more hemodialysis patients and establish a kidney transplant center in the next five years to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from renal diseases.

“We will forever be in debt to our heroes — those who perished and the survivors who stared death in the eye and lived to tell the tale. Some of whom are with us here today,” he said.

Aside from directing a review of current pension rates, Marcos also vowed that the government would ensure that the Armed Forces of the Philippines are well-equipped to face “new and growing challenges.”

He directed the DND and the AFP to assess and submit a report on the responsiveness of the current inventory of military supplies and equipment.

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“We are doubling our efforts to enhance their operational capability. We must, therefore, also ensure their safety by procuring the right equipment,” he said.

TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., military troops benefits

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