Aging World War II veterans get additional cash benefits
April 26, 2010 8:14 pm
By Freddie G. Lazaro
VIGAN CITY, April 26 –All surviving World War II veterans nationwide aged 80 years old and above have started receiving the partial payment of their long overdue Total Administrative Disability (TAD) pension last Friday, according to the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) here.
PVAO Regional Officer Maria Juanita F. Rivera said on Monday that the initial TAD lump sum paid to veterans covered payment from January 2006 to December 2009 only.
Veterans who have banking passbook with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) can now withdraw the lump sum starting last April 23, 2010 (Friday) and those with banking passbook with Veterans Bank have started withdrawing the amount starting April 26, 2010 (Monday).
On the other hand, veterans who are Land Bank depositors may start withdrawing their payment on April 27, 2010, she added.
An estimated lump sum amount of P81,600 may be availed of by each veteran if their payment was computed at P1,700 per month from January 2006 to December 2009.
Rivera clarified that the qualified recipients of the TAD lump sum are all surviving 80 years old and above WW II veterans. However, the veterans dependents, Armed Forces of the Philippines retirees and late veterans spouse pensioners are not qualified to receive the benefit.
The payment was made possible by the allotment of P170 million under Republic Act No. 9970, otherwise known as the General Appropriations Act of 2010 through the joint efforts by the Congress Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare and Committee on Appropriations; and the executive branch, she said.
Among the benefits provided under Republic Act No. 7696 of 1994, only the TAD pension was left without appropriations from the national budget.
Pursuant to the said act, veterans are deemed totally disabled upon reaching the age of 70 and are therefore entitled to an additional monthly pension of P1,700 equivalent of their monthly disability pension veterans with sickness, disability or injury with 100 percent rating.
But as far as the payment of lump sum is concerned, all surviving WW II veterans who are at least 80 years old will get paid ahead of the others.
As for the remaining TAD payment from 1995-2005 as well as the monthly payment from January 2010, henceforth, the national government vowed to look for additional budgets so that other veterans could be paid.
Retired Colonel Gregorio R. Ufano, the Regional Vice President of the Veterans Federations of the Philippines (VFP), expressed elation over the benefits accorded the war veterans.
That benefit will certainly boost the morale and the will of our fellow veterans to live longer, he added.
Ufano said the release of the lump sum TAD benefit was the fulfillment of the announcement made by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in a meeting with the WW II veterans in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City last September 3, 2009.
This is one of the more important legacies President Arroyo can leave our World War II heroes, Ufano said. (PNA)
LAP/lvm/1600/ Freddie G. Lazaro/rma