2023 April 4
OLD-AGE PENSION. The 80th “Araw ng Kagitingan” commemoration at the Dambana ng Kagitingan, Mt. Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan on April 9, 2022. Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Reynaldo Mapagu on Tuesday (April 4, 2023) called for the immediate passage of a measure seeking to increase the old-age pension of military veterans as a fitting tribute for their heroic deeds.
MANILA – Ahead of the commemoration of “Araw ng Kagitingan”, a senior defense official on Tuesday called for the immediate passage of a measure seeking to increase the old-age pension of military veterans as a fitting tribute for their heroic deeds.
During the Laging Handa briefing, Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Reynaldo Mapagu said the pension rates under the 28-year-old law should be increased, particularly the monthly disability pension which currently range from PHP1,000 to PHP1,700.
“Hopefully this will come to pass so maging batas ito – at least eh itataas nang konti. Dahil matagal na kasi itong batas na ito… sana nga maayos natin ito, maitaas naman. So iyong PHP1,700 baka puwedeng maging sa 1 percent to 30 percent rating, maging PHP4,500 saka doon sa 91 to 100 percent rating, maging PHP10,000 (into law so that at least the rates will increase. This law is already old so… I hope this could be updated. So the current PHP1,700 could be increased to PHP4,500 under the 1 percent to 30 percent rating, and to PHP10,000 under the 91 percent to 100 percent rating),” Mapagu said.
Aside from increasing the pension, Mapagu said the government is also setting up around 24 veterans wards across the country.
This would be the temporary solution before the Marcos administration makes do with its promise to put up hospitals in the Visayas and Mindanao regions for war veterans, he said.
“Habang wala pa po ito, itong veterans ward muna iyong ating gagawin. May mga natapos na rin, gumagana na lalo na unang-una diyan iyong Northern Mindanao Medical Center sa Cagayan de Oro (While these hospitals are not yet established, we will set up veterans wards in the meantime. There are already existing wards such as in the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro),” he said.
Mapagu said there is also a veterans’ medical and healthcare program offering free hospitalization and reimbursement of hospital bills.
“Ang goal po natin dito (Our goal here) is no veteran should pay for his or her own medicine,” he said.
The observance of Philippine Veterans Week (PVW) will start on April 5 with the Sunrise Ceremony and the wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City at 7 a.m.
It will be followed by the Review in Honor of the Veterans at the Hunters ROTC Guerilla Field at the Philippine Army Headquarters, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City at 9 a.m.
April 10 was declared a regular holiday in observance of the “Araw ng Kagitingan,” under Proclamation 90, s. 2022, signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos. Jr.
The commemoration will start at 8 a.m. at the Mt. Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan where the “Dambana ng Kagitingan” or Shrine of Valor stands.
The Tribute to all Filipino Heroes, traditionally held in Corregidor Island, will be observed along with the Paggunita sa Capas at the Capas National Shrine in Capas, Tarlac at 8 a.m. on April 11.
The PVW will be capped off with the Sunset Ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City at 5 p.m. on April 12, where veterans will gather amid the setting sun to share stories about the veterans and recite a pledge of patriotism.
Supporting activities will also be held in different parts of the country to promote the legacies of Filipino veterans and heroes.
Filane Mikee Cervantes