PILAR, Bataan – In his remaining days in office, President Benigno S. Aquino III made sure war veterans and their families are taken care of.
During his sixth and final Araw ng Kagitingan rites as head of state today, President Aquino disclosed that P370 million has already been paid out under his administration for the college scholarship of the veterans’ direct descendants.
Scholars receive up to P36,000 a year under the educational benefit program of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
“If we talk about reciprocating your sacrifices, I am sure the fruits of Straight Path are apparent to you (Kung pagtanaw nga po sa inyong sakripisyo ang usapan, tiyak ko pong malinaw sa inyo ang mga bunga ng Daang Matuwid),” the President said.
For health, a total of P91 million has been expended for the Veterans Hospitalization Program in which 10,600 veterans and their family members have benefitted in the past six years.
They can avail of various medical services, which other hospitals cannot provide, in Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and also in 183 accredited public and private hospitals in the country.
VMMC has been improved to cater more to the needs of patients as it now houses an eye center, renovated Operating Room Complex, Medical Intensive Care Unit, Outpatient Department Complex, larger Renal Dialysis Unit, Medical Intensive Therapy Unit, and Post-Anesthesia Care unit.
President Aquino said the daily hospitalization subsidy of veterans increased from P1,200 to P1,500.
He said the Pensioner’s Validation Program is streamlined to assure that government funds are directly given to rightful beneficiaries.
According to PVAO, as of March 2016, the total number of surviving World War II and post-WWII veterans is 44,180 (WWII: 10,567; PWWII: 33,613)
“Yearly I make sure to join in the commemoration to personally thank you and reciprocate the sacrifices of our veterans,” he said.