World War II veterans of the country may still enjoy bigger benefits as lawmakers push for the approval of programs for the valiant heroes.
Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, chair of the Committee on Veteran Affairs and Welfare in the 17th Congress of the House of Representatives, said the four-year old bill, which proposes an increase in the pension money of veterans from the present P5,000 to P20,000, has passed the Committee but still needs to pass the process of deliberation in various levels.
The Congressman lamented that the Bill has not been given much importance in the House due to other more pressing priorities.
“Five thousand pesos is very little and not enough for their medical assistance. Hopefully the Bill will be approved in Congress and in the Senate then ratified and signed (by the President),” Bataoil said during the commemoration of 73rd Lingayen Gulf Landings held in Pangasinan.
Bataoil, who is also the 2nd District Representative of Pangasinan, said he will consistently push for the Bill and other benefits for the war heroes along with committee members Rep. Amado Espino, Jr. of the 5th District and Rep. Romeo Acop of Antipolo City who know how it is to offer their lives in the name of peace and freedom for the country.
The Committee is also pushing for the establishment of a Veterans Medical Center in all the provinces of the Philippines to bring medical services closer to the veterans sparing them of travel to Manila, considering their state of health and old age.
Citing the urgency of the Bill and other benefits, Bataoil said there are more than 8,000 living war veterans in the country and sadly noted that they are dying at the rate of 300 per month, adding that they might all be gone in three years time. # Source - (JNPD/Venus May H. Sarmiento/PIA-1)