Bataan First District Representative Geraldine B. Roman on Tuesday presided over the meeting of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Welfare at the House of Representatives. Roman is the Chairperson of the said committee.
“Pinag-usapan namin ang pagbibigay ng juridical personality sa Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) at ang pagtatatag ng Office of Veterans Affairs sa Philippine Embassy sa United States,” Roman said.
House Bill no. 936 (filed by Magdalo Party List Rep. Manuel DG Cabochan III) seeks to provide juridical entity by transforming the VMMC into a corporate body in order to strengthen the hospital’s operations, reinforce its existence and perpetuation as a first rate, prestigious medical institution.
During Congresswoman Roman’s first term as lawmaker in 2016, she filed House Bill 270 or An Act Increasing the Monthly Pension of Senior Veterans, which eventually signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte in December 2018 and became Republic Act 11164 increasing the old age pension of senior veterans from P5,000 to P20,000.
As of January 2018, there are only about 6,163 living senior veterans.
Rep. Roman in previous interviews with journalists said Filipino men who served in World War II are now in the twilight of their lives: their average age is 85.
One veteran from Balanga City recalled that when the war broke out, a good number of them were merely teenagers were forced by circumstance to come of age and carry the brunt of a nation under attack.
Among those who lived, most recall years when lives were put on hold. Days of being carefree students were traded in for field missions where often only two grades would determine their fate: dead or alive. If they lived, they were forced to accept uncertainty, living day-to-day on no assurance that their needs would be met, however hard they aspired to live.