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V O L U M E 4 I S S U E 1
J U N E 2 0 1 1
Sec. Gazmin Lauds PVAO’s Cleansing of Pension List
In keeping with President Benigno Aquino III’s anti-corruption agenda, National Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin pushed for the cleansing of PVAO Pension List as one of his major thrusts in advancing the welfare of the Filipino veterans. During his visit to the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and various veterans’ organizations, Secretary Gazmin directed PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina to aggressively pursue its campaign to cleanse its pension list. In response, PVAO instituted a three-part campaign: the Revalidation System, the Direct Remittance Pension Servicing System (DRPSS), and the PVAO Pensioner’s ID. The Revalidation System allows the agency to monitor the status and whereabouts of its pensioners through their submission of a Pensioner’s Update Form (PUF). Meanwhile, the Direct Remittance Pension Servicing System or the DRPSS, which eliminated the mailing of pension checks and instead, directly remits all pensions through PVAO servicing banks and financial institutions, has continuously notified PVAO of bank accounts that have been inactive for at least three (3) consecutive months. This prompts PVAO to terminate the remittance of pension as a safety net against overpayments. Since DRPSS was launched last 2008, PVAO was able to recover and save funds amounting to P4.20B, which were used to pay current pension obligations and unpaid pensions of veterans/ pensioners. This has allowed PVAO to pay almost 30,000 World War II veterans last 2009, cutting off the pension arrears by almost 50%. More recently, PVAO was able to recover a total of P102,780,647 from its pension fund due to the timely reports of 4,318 deaths of pensioners within the period of January to June 2011 alone. ■
IN THIS ISSUE:
US Senator Meets WWII Filipino Veterans What Veterans Need to Know SND Directs VFP Reorganization New PVAO Website
THE FLAG AND THE VETERAN. Jaime Gardanao, a war veteran, proudly carries a Philippine flag-let at the Mausoleo delos Veteranos dela Revolucion at the Manila North Cemetary during the simultaneous raising of the flag nationwide in celebration of the 113th Araw ng Kalayaan.
(PIA-NCR/Domingo B. Natividad)
Serbisyo sa Beterano. Serbisyo sa Bayan.
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
‘An Area Fit for a National Shrine’ Proposed on the 113th Independence Day Celebration
June 12, 2011 – Joining the simultaneous flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony held across the country in celebration of the 113th anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence, PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina told the Manila City Government and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) to improve the area of the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion in the Manila North Cemetery. “We need a bigger space around the mausoleum so we can hold special commemorative events such as today. This will enable more people – parHonoring the veterans at the Mausoleo de los Vet- ticularly the students who are joining us now – to better appreciate and eranos de la Revolucion in Manila North Cemetery. value the significance of the heroic Filipinos who fought for our freedom during the Philippine Revolution,” the Administrator stressed. Representing the National Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin, the Administrator further expressed his observations regarding the congested state of the mausoleum and proposed that its vicinity be cleared, even within an area of at least 500 sqm to make the place “fit for a national shrine.” Noting the presence of the WWII veterans during the event, the Administrator also read the prepared message of Secretary Gazmin citing that: “It is for them and their countless fellow revolutionaries that we dedicate the honor of this pleasant commemoration.” (continued on page 8)
PVAO-FILVETS medical mission benefits 200 veterans and dependents from Orani, Bataan
Hundreds of veterans and surviving spouses of deceased veterans in Orani, Bataan benefited from medical and dental mission jointly sponsored by PVAO and Filipino Veterans Foundation (FILVETS) Inc. on April 28, 2011. A total of 200 veterans and surviving spouses from the different barangays of Orani, Bataan received free medical and dental consultations and free medicines from PVAO in partnership with FILVETS. Aside from the medical and dental consultations, wheelchairs and canes were also given to veterans-patients in need. Joining the medical mission team, PVAO employees participate in the medical mission. Congresswoman Herminia B. Roman, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare thanked the PVAO and FILVETS officials for bringing the services closer to the veterans in Orani, Bataan. Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina in his message, acknowledged the continuous support of Congresswoman Roman in initiating legislation that would upgrade the benefits of veterans. The PVAO-FILVETS medical mission is one of the activities under the PVAOFILVETS partnership geared towards providing health care services to Filipino veterans residing in far flung provinces who cannot avail of the services of the Congresswoman Roman joined the PVAO-FILVETS Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC). ■ medical mission in Orani, Bataan. PVAO- FILVETS Medical Mission Schedule : July 8 - Lipa City, Batangas / July 28 - GMA, Silang, Cavite / August 25 - Fort Magsaysay, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija / Sept 29 - San Juan, Batangas
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
US Senator Meets Filipino WWII Veterans
Senator Daniel Ken Inouye, President pro tempore of the United States Senate and Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, met with Filipino WWII Veterans in a simple gathering of patriots and friends on April 26, 2011 at the DND Social Hall after his customary courtesy call on Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin. WWII veterans, represented by leaders of various veterans organizations, expressed their gratitude to Senator Inouye by presenting a Resolution thanking him for his deep commitment in giving justice and equity to the Filipino Veterans. Secretary Gazmin, a son of a WWII veteran, led in the presentation of the resolution. Senator Inouye shakes hands with the veterans. Senator Inouye authored the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) Fund that was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which appropriated $198 M for the one-time payment of $15,000 to Filipino WWII veterans who are US citizens and $9,000 to Filipino WWII veterans who are non-US citizens. Through the initiative of Senator Inouye in July 2010, an additional $67M was added to FVEC Fund raising the total of $265M. As of December 2010, almost 18,000 Filipino WWII veterans received their one-time payment. In his remarks, Senator Inouye recounted the commitment made by then US President Roosevelt in 1941 to give full US veterans benefits to Filipino veterans. This promise was rescinded by law in 1946. “When I learned about Senator Inouye receives a resolution as an expression of gratitude from the Filipino veterans. this, I was ashamed of what my country did,” the Senator said. Senator Inouye ended by thanking the Filipino veterans for the friendship and warm welcome during his visit. ■
WWII FVEC Recipients May Avail Monthly Benefits from USDVA
World War II veterans who have received the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation lumpsum from the US Department of Veterans Affairs may also be entitled to either compensation or pension benefits. Compensation may be availed of by any veteran who was disabled as a result of an injury, disease or an event in military service. Given monthly, its amount varies in Photo credit: http://www.asianweek.com accordance with the rate of a veteran’s disability. Veterans who do not have any service-connected disability, however may apply for pension benefits if they are more than 65 years old or older and are permanently or totally disabled. Applications with complete requirements should be mailed or submitted to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Manila Regional Office, 1501 Roxas Blvd., 1302 Pasay. Application forms may be downloaded from the USDVA
FROM A PROUD WWII VETERAN’S GRANDSON This is the photo of my late maternal grandfather, Rodolfo S. Madrid (1917-1978), before he joined the Philippine Army-United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) on November 17, 1941. On December 24, 1941, two weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack, he was commissioned lieutenant and was assigned to the Off-Shore Patrol unit of the 22nd Infantry, 21st Division of the USAFFE that fought the Japanese Imperial Army at the Bataan Peninsula. On February 20, 1942, he led the second platoon of "M" Company, 22nd Infantry, 21st Division, USAFFE. He made his last stand with his men at the Regimental Reserve Line (RRL) in the face of overwhelming odds during the Japanese Imperial Army's general offensive on April 4, 1942, five days before Bataan fell. He was captured on the same day (April 4), became a prisoner-of-war at Camp O'Donnell and was released on August 4, 1942 (he was suffering from malaria). After World War II, he joined the Philippine Army's Signal Corps and retired as lieutenant colonel in 1964. My grandfather died in 1978. - by Rod Vincent Yabes, as posted on PVAO Facebook page
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
Veterans’ Future Discussed at the 65th VFP Supreme Council Meeting
“The future of the veterans” – This is what PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina boldly laid out during the opening session of the 65th Regular Meeting of the Supreme Council of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP). The Administrator, who represented DND Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin as the guest of honor and speaker, related that there is a growing shift in the members of the Filipino veterans community, with an increasing number of AFP retirees not only among the pensioners of PVAO but even among the commanders of VFP. “We have about 27,000 living World War II veterans as of today,” reThe PVAO Administrator gave a challenging forecast on ported the Administrator, “meanwhile, we have about 23,000 Post World the veterans’ organizations in the next five years. War II/AFP veterans, of whom about 1,000 are added annually. With this trend, along with the reality of dwindling veterans of World War II, the Filipino veterans’ community will soon have a majority of AFP retirees in the next five years.” The Administrator then exhorted that the VFP, as a public corporation organized by the government through RA 2640, should strengthen its ranks by attracting and inviting more AFP retirees, including the existing AFP retirees’ organizations, to join and be recognized under the umbrella organization of VFP. “The VFP is the only viable organization to form a unified Filipino veterans’ community and we will continue to partner and support VFP in carrying out its responsibility of promoting the veterans’ welfare,” the Administrator concluded. (continued on page 8)
Filipino Veterans Community Urged at PVL 65th Anniversary
“Let’s unite and do what’s right.” – PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina continues to audaciously echo this battle cry as he spoke during the 65th National Convention of the Philippine Veterans Legion (PVL) held last June 4, 2011 at AGFO Center in Quezon City. As of present, there are about 400 members of PVL, majority of whom are composed of the veterans’ surviving spouses and their sons and daughters. Given this current status, the Administrator advocated the move to strengthen the participation of the veterans’ spouses and their sons and daughters in the veterans’ organi- The PVAO Administrator and PVL officers and members huddle for a photo. zations. “Kailangang mapagtibay natin ang isang maayos na organisasyon para sa mga beterano kung saan ang bawat isa ay may boses, nakaboboto, at nalalaman ang nangyayari sa loob ng organisasyon,” the Administrator asserted. He also pushed for corrective and legal measures that will address several inconsistencies in the administration of the veterans’ affairs and organizations. Accordingly, the Administrator informed the members of the PVL of the newly-created division in PVAO, which was tasked to look into the various affairs of the veterans and their respective organizations. “We now have the Veterans Affairs and Management Division (or VAMD), which was approved by the Dept. of Budget and Management. They will specifically look into the concerns of all veterans’ organizations, especially the 17 chartered ones.” Also present in the convention, who also gave their respective messages in support of PVL, were: Hunters ROTC President, Justice Manuel Pamaran, who represented the Office of the Mayor of Manila; Ms. Eva Luna of the A tribute was given to the family of the late Atty. SalHouse of Representatives Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare, and; vador A. Princesa, former PVL National Commander. Mr. Nicolas Pamperin, the Deputy Director of the US Department of Veterans Affairs. ■
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SND Directs Audit and Reorganization of VFP
In accordance with the Supreme Court ruling that the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) is a public corporation and that its funds are considered public funds, Secretary of National Defense Voltaire T. Gazmin issued directives to assist VFP in implementing reforms consistent to its mandate of advancing the general welfare of all veterans as embodied in RA 2640. Envisioned by the SND as the key to harmonizing all veterans groups into a unified veterans community as an umbrella organization, the VFP has diSec. Gazmin meets with the members of the VFP, rected to amend its constitution and by-laws and conduct an inventory of headed by Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo (left). all its assets, bank accounts, fees charged, and potential sources of revenue. DND Department Circular No. 10 provides for the “Strict Implementation of the Provisions of Republic Act No. 2640 as Affirmed by the Supreme Court Decision Pertaining to the Status of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) as a Government Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC) under the Supervision and Control of the Secretary of National Defense.” It asserts the authority of the SND to require the VFP to submit its annual report, which consists of the financial report of the Federation, the roster of members, and the current listing of VFP management and officers, not later than every January 31 of the following year. Furthermore, periodic reports on the proceedings of each Supreme Council meeting, resolutions passed, and operation/activity undertaken by the VFP should also be submitted. The issuance of the department circular is consistent with Republic Act No. 10149 or the GOCC Governance Act recently signed by President Benigno Aquino III, which gives a freehand to review and reorganize GOCCs, including the fix salaries, allowances, per diems, and bonuses of its board members. As of present, the newly-created Veterans Affairs and Management Division (VAMD) of PVAO is implementing the directives of the DND, as well as improving the monitoring and overseeing of other veterans’ corporate entities. ■
PVAO joins the 69th Hunters ROTC Annual Convention
In a show of solidarity and support, PVAO officers, headed by Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina, joined the 69th Hunters ROTC Annual Convention and 36th Anniversary Celebration of Sons and Daughters of Hunters ROTC Guerillas, Inc. (SDHI) last May 15, 2011 at the San Juan Gymnasium in Taytay, Rizal. With the theme, “Hunters at Salinlahi: Sama-sama sa Pagtahak sa Matuwid na Landas Tungo sa Pagbabago,” over 300 veterans and their dependents from NCR, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna gathered and listened to their leaders and guests, who gave inspiring messages of unity and commitment to the legacy of heroism and selfless service to the country. The PVAO Administrator addresses the convention participants. In his remarks, Hunters ROTC president, Justice Manuel R. PamaInset: PVAO officers in attendance. ran, said that the convention is a reunion and a time to remind themselves of how they, as brothers, shared and lived as one. Meanwhile, Hunters ROTC Supremo, Col. Frisco F. San Juan, focused on the value of tradition of honor and good values. As one of the guests, Administrator Carolina congratulated the Hunters ROTC for its “69 years of brotherhood.” He emphasized that the key to unifying the Filipino veterans community is to strengthen the ROTC, which sadly has a dwindling number of cadets, and to revive the strong links with PMA. These institutions are supposed to train the youth to become active participants in nation-building. (continued on page 8)
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
60th Anniversary of the Battle of Yuldong commemorated
Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) veterans led by the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. (PVAI) President Col. Paterno V. Viloria were joined by Ambassador Hye Lee Min from the Republic of Korea, PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina and other PVAO officials, Senior AFP Officials led by MGen. Romeo D. Lustestica AFP, members of the Foreign Attache Corps and other dignitaries in commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Yuldong on April 14, 2011 at the Korean Memorial Pylon, Libingan ng mga Bayani, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. The highlight of the event was the wreath-laying ceremony followed by a commemorative program dedicated to the PEFTOK veterans. Paying their tribute: PEFTOK Veterans, PVAO AdminisIn his message, PVAO Administrator Carolina paid tribute to the PEFTOK trator Carolina, and Ambassador Hye Lee Min in the veterans by recounting in detail the gallantry, heroism and selfless acts of wreath-laying ceremony. the Filipino patriots who served during the Korean War. Meanwhile in his speech, Ambassador Hye Lee Min, the Guest of Honor, mentioned the contribution of former Senator Ninoy Aquino as a war correspondent who, at the young age of 17, covered the war and was exposed to the same risks as the combatants. The role of former President Fidel Ramos who led the platoon that secured the strategically vital Hill of Eerie was also highlighted. He ended by saying that the Korean government, together with the Philippine government, will continue to uphold the legacy of PEFTOK and assured that the Republic of the Philippines and Republic of Korea will work together to even make their partnership even stronger for the next generations. Ambassador Hye Lee Min: ‘The Republic of The program ended with the offering of flowers to the Korean Pylon for the Korea will uphold the legacy of PEFTOK.’ PEFTOK heroes who sacrificed their lives for freedom and democracy. ■ THE MEANING OF THE PARTICIPATION OF THE PHILIPPINES IN THE KOREAN WAR It was 60 years ago when the Philippines, the first Asian country and the third among the 16 UN member-nations, responded to the United Nations Security Council Resolution No. 83 dated June 27, 1950. Despite issues on military and economic instability of the country, the Philippines sent five Batallion Combat Teams (BCTs) to help South Korea defend itself from the communists. The Korean War of June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953 – the first and last World War between democracy and communism – took the Delegates and guests during the 60th Commemoration of lives of 112 fighting men of the PEFTOK, wounded 299 others while the Battle of Yuldong. 16 men remain officially missing-in-action to this day. The Battle of Yuldong was just one of the many victories of PEFTOK during the Korean War. ■
Every PEFTOK Veteran Counts!
As part of the joint efforts to locate and account all surviving PEFTOK veterans, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and the PEFTOK Veterans Association, Inc. (PVAI) are inviting all PEFTOK veterans and their dependents to get in touch with PVAO and PVAI. If you or your relative is part of this defining moment in our country’s history, please contact the PVAO office at (02) 911-4296 or Col. Paterno V. Viloria, Ph. D, PVAI President, at (02)911-2579 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to hear from you.
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
Battle of Piis Memorial Marker Unveiled
Km. 134, Piis, Lucban, Quezon – The Battle of Piis Memorial Marker was recently unveiled on this specific site last May 2, 2011 in honor of all the soldiers who gave up their lives to defend the said junction. The battle lasted for two days, wherein Filipino soldiers from the USAFFE, Philippine Scouts, and local guerrillas participated and succeeded in delaying the Japanese Landing Forces in advancing to Manila during World War II. The unveiling ceremony was well-attended by World War II Veterans of Quezon Province, veteran representatives of The American Legion, local government officials, teachers and students from nearby schools and academies, Southern Luzon Command (SOLCOM) headed by SOLCOM Commander Lt. Gen. Detabali, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) PVAO Administrator together with NHCP Director Almosara Executive Director Emelita Almosara, the PVAO officers headed by and representative of the late Cmdr. Cedula applaud as the Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina, and the family of the late Com- marker was officially unveiled. mander Francisco Cedula. The said marker was initially proposed by the late Commander Francisco Cedula, who was a veteran and a survivor of the Battle of Piis, together with the Filipino-American Veterans of Nevada. After several meetings and coordination between the NHCP, PVAO, the local government of Lucban, Quezon, DPWH, and the family of the late Cmdr. Cedula, the proposal was finalized and the construction of the marker was immediately undertaken. In his message during the program, Administrator Carolina highlighted the importance of discovering and preserving the history of our country through writing of historical books and including history as one of the major subjects in school. Accordingly, the Administrator and the NHCP Executive Director Almosara donated historical books to the Samanghang Pangkasaysayan, a historical society in Lucban, Quezon during the event. The program was culminated through an Open Forum at Lucban Academy, where PVAO officers and staff attended to the queries of World War II veterans of Lucban and their dependents. The Battle of Piis was fought on December 26, 1941. ■
BOOKS PUBLISHED BY PVAO
The Freedom Fighters of Northern Luzon by Cesar Pobre with Phillip Kimpo, Jr.
It has always been the primary advocacy of PVAO to propagate and make known the heroic deeds of our veterans. Below are the recent publications undertaken by PVAO: Victory in Northern Luzon by Cesar Pobre
The gallantry of the Filipino soldiers did not end with the fall of Bataan. Here is the story of how the various Filipino resistance groups in Northern Luzon grew and matured into a single, fighting force after the fall and how they had victoriously redeemed the nation’s formidable stand against the advancing banzaicharging soldiers of Japan.
A second installment to the equally engaging narrative of the Filipino Fighters of Northern Luzon – this time, with the organizational and operational dimensions of the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines, Northern Luzon (USAFIP, NL).
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
113th Independence Day… (cont. from page 2)
Also in attendance were Honorable Niño M. dela Cruz, Councilor of the 1st District of Manila, who represented the Office of the Mayor of Manila; Architect Wilkie B. Delumen of the Historic Preservation Division, NHCP, and; Mrs. Gemma Cruz-Araneta, Vice Chairman of the Manila Historical and Heritage Commission. Elements from the AFP NCR Command and PNP led by MGen. Tristan Kison and C/Supt. Miguel Laurel, respectively, were also present to provide security and ceremonial support. More significantly, the yearly commemoration was attended by students from Jose Abad Santos National High School, Ramon Magsaysay National High School, and Manuel L. Quezon High School. ■
Guests gathered around the ‘congested’ mausoleum in Manila North Cemetery.
Veterans’ Future discussed… (cont. from page 4)
Meanwhile, during the second part of the program, PVAO Deputy Administrator Atty. Romeo S. Lazo presented various service improvements in PVAO, which includes the One-Stop Shop, Direct Remittance Pension Servicing System (DRPSS), Revalidation System, and updates on the payment of Total Administrative Disability (TAD) arrears. Afterwards, Dr. Dominador Chiong of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) also presented the improvement in the VMMC facilities. Among the questions and concerns raised by the veterans after the PVAO officers attend to the queries of a VFP commander during the 65th Supreme Council meeting. presentations were: the availability of medical services (or the establishment of VMMCs) in other areas, particularly in Visayas and Mindanao, and the failure of some government hospitals in the province to recognize the veterans, even those who presented a PVAO Pensioner’s ID. These issues were clarified during the ensuing open forum. A booth for PVAO was also set-up to address the inquiries of the VFP commanders and regional vice-presidents present in the meeting. ■
PVAO joins 69th Hunters… (cont. from page 5)
After the Administrator’s message, PVAO officers facilitated the distribution of several wheelchairs and adjustable canes to selected veterans and their dependents. Also present in the occasion are Taytay Mayor Ricardo George Gacula and Rizal Provincial Vice-Governor Frisco S. San Juan, Jr., who is also the son of the Hunters ROTC Supremo Col. Frisco F. San Juan. The Hunters ROTC was founded by cadets of the Philippine Military Academy and various ROTC units in universities and colleges who banded after the fall of Bataan to carry on the resistance movement against the Japanese invaders. They provided invaluable intelligence and led the most daring raids during the Second World War. ■
PVAO Administrator and Hunters ROTC officers together with a recipient of a new wheelchair.
PVAO Bulletin is published quarterly by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
For comments, questions, or reactions, you may write to: PVAO Strategic Communications Section at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
PVAO launches its new website
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
Want to know about the latest updates related to the veterans and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office? Or you may simply just want to know more about the benefits and services provided by PVAO? Search no more. PVAO is back on the web. With better features like downloadable forms for pension applications, locations and contact details of our field offices, accurate information on our military national shrines, and even stories of World War II veterans written by their direct descendants. Visit us at www.pvao.mil.ph. ■
PVAO IS ALSO ON FACEBOOK!
Knowing that more people are using the social networking site Facebook, PVAO also took the advantage of this development in reaching and servicing more veterans and their dependents. We are happy to share this wall post from a thankful pensioner:
Melia Madera – Caraga Region, Butuan City ito po si camilo s madera (shown in the picture) 93 this july 18 salamat lahat nang (sic) mga benefits nang manga (sic) beterano at na enjoy din nag tatay ko lahat "mabuhay philippines veterans affair office." *PVAO’s official Facebook page is Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
Three noted female ‘GADvocates’ visited PVAO
Dra. Pilar H. de Ocampo, Ms. Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel, and Atty. Anthonette V. Allones — These are the three noted ’GADvocates’ who graced the Monday flag-raising ceremony of PVAO in the agency’s efforts to promote awareness and sensitivity to Gender and Development (GAD) issues and concerns among its employees. Dra. Pilar H. de Ocampo is a World War II veteran and the wife of VFP President Emmanuel de Ocampo. She talked about her invaluable experiDra. Pilar de Ocampo received her plaque of recognition ences as part of the medical battalion and how a female can contribute to as PVAO employees look on. the Philippines’ advancement during war. Ms. Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel, a well-known human rights advocate, media personality, former legislator, and spokesperson of the AKBAYAN Partylist spoke on certain GAD advocacies as espoused in the Magna Carta of Women. Meanwhile, Atty. Anthonette V. Allones, the Executive Director of the Career Executive Service Board (CESB) encouraged PVAO personnel to aim for career advancement by partaking in the programs of CESB. Through GAD, PVAO has worked to advance, inspire, and support development policy and practice to achieve a gender responsive development in tj workplace. By sharing the thoughts and experiences related to GAD, PVAO aims Ms. Rissa Hontiveros-Baraquel paused for a to motivate our personnel to become better GAD believers Atty. Anthonette Allones encouraged PVAO personnel. photo with PVAO female employees. and doers. ■
Because the Veterans matter.
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Cataract Surgery, Dentures, Orthopaedic Implants, and Hernia Mesh – Now Part of PVAO-VMMC Hospitalization Benefits
Photo credit: http://wn.com/Filipino_American
Our veterans can now enjoy better and more responsive medical and hospitalization benefits from PVAO and VMMC. The two partnering agencies have recently entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with contracted government hospitals that includes cataract surgery, dentures, orthopaedic implants, and hernia mesh in the coverage of PVAO-VMMC Hospitalization Benefits. Each said medical service has a specified maximum coverage amount that can be utilized regardless if the veteran is a confined or out-patient of a PVAO-VMMC accredited government hospital. The cataract surgery shall be paid on actual billing not exceeding P16,000 per patient, whether the procedure was done in one or both eyes in one operative session. Meanwhile, the orthopaedic implants will be at a cost not exceeding P20,000 per implant, the dentures is at P5,000 for a complete set (upper and lower dentures), and the hernia mesh at a cost not exceeding P2,000 per mesh. All these services are for the exclusive use of the veterans only. For more information on the hospitalization and medical benefits for veterans and their dependents, one may visit VMMC’s website at www.vmmc.gov.ph or call (02) 927Photo credit: mines45.multiply.com 7393. ■
Increase of Burial Assistance Approved in Congress, Now in Senate
The Honorable Representative of the First District of Bataan Herminia Roman announced that the Congress has already approved, on its third reading, House Bill No. 229 entitled “An Act Increasing the Burial Assistance for Veterans from Ten Thousand (P10,000) to Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000), Amending for the Photo credit: http://wolrdnews-travelyero.blogspot.com Purpose Republic Act No. 6948, As Amended, Otherwise Known as ‘An Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents’” during the 2011 Araw ng Kagitingan celebration. The said bill, now Senate Bill No. 2851, was first read in the Senate on June 1, 2011. Congresswoman Roman has authored and filed the said bill in Congress on August 2010. From an initial four thousand pesos (P4,000) when RA 6948 was enacted in 1990, the burial assistance was raised to ten thousand pesos (P10,000) when RA 7696 was passed in 1994. If approved, the present bill will prove to be a responsive move from the government considering the significant increase of burial costs over the past years.■
“Hindi po tamang ipagdamot natin sa ating mga beterano at sa kanilang pamilya, ang mga serbisyong dapat lang naman ay kanilang matanggap.” -- Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III during the Araw ng Kagitingan 2011 celebration
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WHAT VETERANS NEED TO KNOW
Matters that Matter to Veterans and their Dependents
It is the “policy of the State to help foster the socioeconomic security and general well-being of the country’s veterans.” However, most of our veterans do not know about these. Even more unfortunate is that even in their passing away, their families also do not get the chance to enjoy the benefits granted to them by the government. If you are a veteran or a dependent of a veteran, here are among the four important benefits granted to you by the virtue of your and your family’s service to the country:
A veteran and turning 65? According to Section 10 of RA 6948, as amended by Sec. 3 of RA 7696, if you are: a veteran/an AFP retiree/an AFP personnel with a cumulative service of 20 years* and is 65 years old then, you are entitled to an Old Age Pension of P5,000/month. This is effective on your 65th birthday or, if you are above 65, upon the effectivity of the law, which is on August 10, 1990.
*As of 2007, as amended by RA 9396.
Photo credit: mypinoy.tv
Surviving Spouse Also Included The lawful widow or widow of a deceased veteran is also entitled to the Old Age Pension for Surviving Spouse of P5,000 monthly. This is effective upon the death of the veteran until the surviving spouse remarries or dies.
Bereaved by a veteran killed in the line of duty? Our government also has provisions for the parent, spouse, or unmarried minor child of a veteran who died in line of duty or due to a service-connected disability or sickness. Below are their specific benefits: Surviving spouse, regardless of age: P1,000/ month Unmarried minor child: P1,000/month until the child reaches the age of 18 Parent: P1,000 each/month, single parent (with the right of accretion) P2,000/month
Disabled no more The law is also granting a pro-rated monthly pension for World War II veterans who were disabled or injured in line of duty and for AFP veterans with a disability discharge rating. Spouses and unmarried minor children of veterans with a 100% disability rating are also entitled to an additional pension of P500 each. These disability pensions are effective on the day of the application of the WWII veteran. Meanwhile, these are automatically applied for when the AFP veteran undergoes complete disability discharge proceedings at the AFP Medical Center.
If you are a rightful beneficiary of any of these benefits, you may submit your application at the PVAO compound in Camp Aguinaldo, QC or at any Field Service Extension Office (FSEO) nearest you. ■
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 * June 2011
Maaring Maputol ang Inyong mga Benepisyo mula sa PVAO dahil sa mga "Claims Fixers”
Ang Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) ay isang maka-mamamayan at bukas na ahensya na inatasang pangasiwaan ang pagbibigay ng pensyon sa mga beterano. Samakatuwid, hindi na kailangan ang mga “claims fixers” upang matupad ang tungkuling ito. Sa kabila ng mga paalalang ito, patuloy pa ring nakatatanggap ang PVAO ng mga claims mula sa mga beterano o sa kanilang mga naulila na gumagamit ng serbisyo ng mga "claims fixers." Kadalasan ang mga ito ay may mga peke o hindi totoong ebidensya, na siya naman naming masusing iniimbestigahan. Ito ang nagpapatagal sa aming pagpoproseso ng inyong mga claims. Kapag napatunayan na may mga pandaraya kaugnay sa mga dokumentong inyong ibinigay, maaaring maputol ang anumang benepisyong inyong natatanggap mula sa PVAO. Ang pagputol na ito ay permanente at pang-habambuhay. Ang inyong mga naulila at tagapagmana ay mawawalan rin ng lahat ng karapatan na tumanggap ng anumang benepisyo mula sa PVAO (mula sa RA 6948 Section 24).
Ang mga "Claims Fixers" ay Walang Koneksyon sa PVAO
Walang koneksyon ang mga "claims fixers" sa PVAO. Kung kayo ay lalapitan ng sinuman na nagsasabi na siya ay may koneksyon sa PVAO, ipagbigay alam ninyo po kaagad sa aming tanggapan. Ang mga "claims fixers" ay walang magagawang tulong sa inyo at ipapahamak lamang nila kayo.
Ang Facebook page na “Consultancy for PVAO and AFP Claims” ay wala pong kaugnayan sa PVAO. Hindi po namin hinihikayat ang pag-“konsulta” sa Facebook page na ito. Ang opisyal na Facebook page ng PVAO ay Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (see page 9).
Ang mga Dapat Gawin Laban sa "Claims Fixers" Gawin ang mga sumusunod upang ma-proteksyunan ang inyong mga sarili laban sa "claims fixers": Huwag lumapit sa mga "claims fixers." Huwag pumirma ng anumang form o blankong papel hangga’t hindi naisusulat ang lahat ng impormasyon na dapat nakasaad dito. Siguraduhing tama ang lahat ng impormasyong nakasulat dito. Hangga’t maari, kayo mismo ang maglagay ng mga impormasyon sa form o blankong papel. Huwag pipirmahan ang anumang "affidavit" o salaysay kung walang katotohanan ang nakasulat dito. Huwag pipirma sa anumang salaysay na pabor sa claims ninuman hangga’t hindi kayo nakakatiyak na tama ang lahat ng nakasulat dito. Huwag kayong magususumite ng anumang salaysay o ebidensya kung ang mga ito ay hindi totoo. Huwag magbayad kahit kanino ng perang katumbas ng inyong serbisyo sa pagtatanggol sa ating bayan. Wala silang karapatan sa mga benepisyong iyon.
Kung Kayo ay may Katanungan Kung kayo ay may katanungan tungkol sa mga benepisyo na ibinibigay ng PVAO, mangyari po lamang na direktang makipag-ugnayan sa aming tanggapan: PHILIPPINE VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICE (PVAO) Address: Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City (o sa pinakamalapit na ahensya ng PVAO sa inyong probinsya) Telephone: (02) 912-4760 E-mail: email@example.com I-Text si Administrator: I-type PVAO <space> ang inyong mensahe at ipadala sa 2920 Official website: www.pvao.mil.ph. Ang lahat ng aming serbiso ay walang bayad.
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