1, 054 WW 2 VETS WILL GET BENEFITS - DND
MANILA, January 3, 2003 (STAR) Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes has approved the immediate payment and remittance of monthly pensions to 1,054 deserving World War II guerrillas whose applications for veterans benefits were stalled by the dissolution of the Military Service Board (MSB) in January 2001.
In a memorandum to the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Reyes said the claim documents covering the 1,054 guerrillas were found in order before the three-year life span of the MSB under Republic Act 8440, or the law which notes that all retired soldiers are considered veterans, lapsed on Jan. 25, 2001. Moves are now being made to revive the board, which was tasked with processing and validating all veterans applications.
The 1,054 newly qualified veterans join the national roster of about 260,000 veterans receiving regular benefits administered by the PVAO. Each newly inducted PVAO veteran is eligible to a monthly pension of P5,000, burial benefits, educational benefits for dependents and monthly pensions of slightly lower amounts for surviving spouses and dependents.
In his memorandum, Reyes directed the PVAO to promptly deliver the stalled pensions through the bank remittance scheme, a new innovation adopted to ensure fool-proof delivery of benefits to veterans.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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