In the Know: Veterans
MANILA, Philippines—A veteran is one who rendered military service in a country’s land, sea or air force, and is categorized as serving either during or after World War II.
Veterans who served during World War II include guerrillas confirmed by the Military Service Board, members of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and the Old Philippine Scouts (also known as Philippine Scouts before and during World War II).
Post-World War II veterans are those who rendered military service in the Armed Forces of the Philippines and have been honorably discharged or separated from service after at least 20 years of total cumulative active service, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9496 enacted in 2006.
Also included are AFP personnel who were separated from service due to death or disability while in active service, and those who died in the line of duty.
On the list as well are members of the Philippine Expeditionary Forces sent to the Korean War and the Philippine Civic Action Group sent to the Vietnam War who were honorably discharged. Members of the Philippine Constabulary who served a minimum of six years prior to its integration in the Philippine National Police in 1991 are also included.
As of March 2014, there were 14,093 veterans of World War II and 21,373 post-World War II veterans, adding up to a total of 35,466 veterans, according to data from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
Veterans and their dependents enjoy pensions and other benefits as part of the government’s socioeconomic aid in recognition of their role in defending the country’s sovereignty.
Benefits include a monthly pension, a death or disability pension, hospitalization and educational benefits, burial assistance and total administrative disability.
PVAO data also showed that a total of 133,784 pensioners (veterans and their surviving spouses) receive a monthly P5,000 old-age pension, while 13,489 benefactors receive P1,700 worth of total administrative disability pension every month.
Recipients of the monthly death pension worth P1,000 totaled 32,097, while 12,252 receive the monthly disability pension. Veterans receive from P1,000 to P1,700 monthly disability pension, depending on their disability, while their dependents receive an additional P500 monthly. In all, there are 178,133 pensioners, according to the PVAO.
The PVAO, which operates under the Department of National Defense, is mandated to administer veteran benefits after assuming the functions of the defunct Philippine Veterans Administration, the Veterans Claims Settlement Staff and the Assistance Center for Ex-Servicemen.—Rafael L. Antonio, Inquirer Research
(Sources: PVAO, Inquirer Archives)
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