Angara wants additional benefits for military personnel and dependents

August 15, 2009 9:06 am 

MANILA, Aug. 15 — House Deputy Majority Leader and Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo M. Angara has batted for additional benefits to military personnel and their dependents, noting that the so-called “defenders of the nation” should be provided with adequate social services and improved benefits.

Angara, author of House Bill No. 146, otherwise known as the “Military Dependent’s Benefits Act,” said that members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, particularly those who are assigned in combat zones unselfishly put their lives on the line to defend the country from armed insurgents, terrorists and plain criminals and the State can return the favor by providing all the necessary social support for their dependents.

“Soldiering is the most dangerous job, especially here in the Philippines which is in constant battle against insurgents, terrorists and armed bandits. It is but right that we should repay their willingness to sacrifice their lives and limbs by providing all the support for their dependents,” Angara, a lawyer, said.

He said that while the AFP is in the thick of modernizing its various service commands by upgrading its facilities, and acquiring equipment to ensure that the armed forces can live up to its constitutional mandate of preserving national sovereignty, the government should not lose sight on the most important component of its modernization program which is its human resource.

“We can have the best rifles or tanks but all these things are useless if we have a badly trained and highly demoralized soldier in the field,” Angara noted.

HB 146 seeks to institutionalize health, housing, and education benefits for military personnel and their dependents.

Under the bill, the dependents of military personnel shall be entitled to educational assistance, wherein the amount will depend on the educational level of the dependent.

The bill states that dependents of military personnel shall also be entitled to health benefits such as free hospitalization, ambulance services and free dental services to be provided by the AFP Health Facilities located in various parts of the country.

These benefits are apart from the necessary housing subject to the eligibility and priority system set by the Major Service/Unit Housing Boards of the AFP. (PNA)

scs/PR/rsm

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