HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES – Citing the important contributions of the veterans in history, Congresswoman Geraldine B. Roman of Bataan 1st district is pushing for the standardization and upgrading of benefits of military veterans and their dependents.
November 11 is an official public holiday in the United States, popularly called Veterans Day. This is observed annually to honor military veterans; persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. Here in the Philippines, Veterans Week is celebrated within a week before April 9 which is being observed annually as Day of Valor (Araw ng Kagitingan) in honor of Filipino and American veterans of World War II.
In 1994, Republic Act 6498 was amended by RA 7996, which increased the pension benefits by P500 per year until it reaches P5000. However, the current pension of 5000 pesos, enacted almost 21 years ago, is clearly not enough to meet the basic necessities for decent living. Surviving spouses of deceased war veterans are given P5000 per month. Rates for the surviving spouse pension begins at P1,000 per month, and increases annually by not less than P500, until the total pension of P5,000 per month is met.
Roman’s proposal would increase the old age pension to P20,000 to augment their resources in order that “the veterans may live decently and with dignity.”
“Our veterans have sacrificed much for our country. They invested blood, sweat, and tears and in return, it is only fitting that we repay their service by taking care of them in their old age,” Roman said.
She added that the proposed increase for the veterans is a way of showing the nation’s grateful appreciation of their bravery, service, and sacrifice hence she recently filed House Bill No. 270 or “An Act Increasing the Monthly Pension of Senior Veterans Thereby Amending RA 6498, As Amended.”
“By giving due importance to what they have done in the past, we show citizens, especially the youth, what the nation values – love of country and patriotism,” the neophyte lady solon said.