Pangasinan honors World War II veterans

By January 15, 2023People & Events

THE Pangasinan provincial government led the commemoration of the 78th Lingayen Gulf landings anniversary and 16th Pangasinan Veterans Day held on January 9 to honor the bravery, sacrifice, and patriotism of World War II freedom fighters.

The commemoration started with a thanksgiving mass, which was followed by the wreath laying ceremony and commemorative program conducted at the Veterans Memorial Park at the Capitol Complex in Lingayen town.

In a message, Department of National Defense undersecretary and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) administrator Reynaldo Mapagu said PVAO will remain committed to its mission of ensuring the welfare and well-being of the veterans.

“We will continue to work for the strong and united Filipino veterans community, and lobby for veterans benefits both pension and non-pension benefits,” Mapagu said.

He said a 15-bed capacity veterans ward at the Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City can soon be utilized by veterans and their dependents once the equipment are complete for it to be fully operational. “All veterans and their dependents can avail of the services of the hospital. All services will be free, zero billing, and PVAO will pay for their expenses,” he added.

During the program, the oldest out of the 48 living veterans in the province were cited and received the PVAO Service Awards, namely: PFC Ricardo C. Manzano (97 years old), PVT Pedro T. Hiteroza (98), PVT Juan DG Cristobal (98), PFC Marcelo M. Tapiador (98), CPL Victorina G. Urmaza (99), PFC Hospicio N. Mallari (101), CPL Adriano S. Salomon (102) and PFC Valentin M. Untalan (106).

According to PVAO, there are 49 surviving war veterans in the province as of December last year, and most of them are already bedridden.

Meanwhile, Governor Ramon Guico III said the provincial government is developing the Capitol grounds and other cities, municipalities and locations in the province to give a fitting tribute to the veterans who fought for the liberation of the Philippines during World War II.

“Many of our veterans have already passed on, it is high time also that history and very significant events should be passed on to the next generation,” he said.

Surviving World War II veterans and their families availed of free medical services.

The “War of Our Fathers: A Brotherhood of Heroes” photo and artifact exhibit held at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center I, was open until January 14 . (PIA Pangasinan/AMMB)

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