In the know: War veterans and their dependents
Veterans and their dependents enjoy pensions and other benefits from the government 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.
As of March 2015, there are 186,396 pensioners, consisting of veterans and their dependents, according to the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
In particular, there are 12,297 veterans of World War II and 25,027 post-World War II veterans, adding up to a total of 37,324 veterans.
PVAO data also showed that 142,044 pensioners (veterans and their surviving spouses) receive a monthly P5,000 old-age pension, while 11,773 benefactors receive P1,700 worth of total administrative disability pension every month.
Recipients of the monthly death pension worth P1,000 totaled 32,926, while 11,426 receive the monthly disability pension. Veterans receive from P1,000 to P1,700 monthly disability pension depending on their disability rating, while their dependents receive an additional P500 monthly.
Speaking at the commemoration of “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor) last year, President Aquino said the government saved P396.61 million when the PVAO succeeded in purging 22,534 fake accounts and suspended 14,616 dubious accounts in validating pensioner’s list.
The President added that Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) provided medical services worth
P17 million to 1,092 veterans and schooling benefits to 2,059 students in 2013.
Mr. Aquino said VMMC accredited 599 public hospitals to serve veterans, with the subsidy for each patient increased to P1,200 per day, up from P800, since January 2013.
He also said the government was “aggressively monitoring” the implementation of the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) Fund given by the United States to Filipino veterans.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed on Feb. 17, 2009, authorized the release of a one-time, lump-sum payment to eligible World War II Filipino veterans.
Data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs showed that as of Feb. 1, 45,991 applicants were processed: 9,305 US citizen veterans approved to receive $15,000 (P667,200); 9,630 non-US citizen approved for $9,000 (P400,320); and 25,027 applicants denied.
To date, the US government has awarded over $224 million (P9.96 billion) to eligible Filipino veterans. Rafael L. Antonio, Inquirer Research
Sources: Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, US Department of Veteran Affairs and Inquirer Archives
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