World War II vets assured P20,000 monthly pension

LINGAYEN–The surviving 300 plus World War II veterans in Pangasinan can begin to look forward to receive higher old age pension starting January this year, from the original P5,000 per month to P20,000 per month for the remaining part of their lives.

This was revealed by Lt. General Ernesto Carolina (ret.), administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) in a talk to newsmen during the 74th Lingayen Gulf Landing anniversary and 12th Pangasinan Day celebration here on January 9.

He said President Rodrigo Duterte already signed into law last week Senate Bill No. 1766 authored by Senator Gregorio Honasan, that increased the old age pension of war veterans now numbering just more than 5,000, throughout the country.

The increased pension, he said is on top of the P1,700 per month disability pension the surviving war veterans are receiving from the government.

Carolina said based on the roster of World War II veterans in his office, Pangasinan still has the most number of surviving World War II veterans today from 335,000 soldiers and  guerilla fighters who fought in the war nationwide.

He assured that beginning 2020, the increased old age pension of war veterans will be included in the general appropriations act.

Carolina also revealed plans to refurbish and beautify the Libingan ng mga Bayani to be at par with the American Cemetery beside it and the Bantayog ng Kabayanihan in Mount Samat, Bataan, which was declared as Tourism Enterprise Zone, for the young generation to remember the heroism of their forebears.

Noting statistics that veterans of World War II are dying at the rate of 300 yearly, Carolina stressed a need to give the war heroes the best care and attention that the present generation can offer before they finally leave this world.

Carolina underscored the fact that it is only under the administration of President Duterte that adopted the policy that WW II veterans no longer have to pay for their medicines in government or private hospitals since these will already be covered by PVAO through the reimbursement scheme.

He clarified, however, that  Korean War and Vietnam War veterans and retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, can only enjoy 50 per cent reimbursement of their cost of their medicines. (Leonardo Micua) 

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