Wednesday, 9 April 2008

PGMA inks RA for WW II Veterans Welfare and Benefits Act of 2008


PILAR, Bataan, April 9 (PNA) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Wednesday signed into law the World War II Veterans Welfare and Benefits Act of 2008 in commemoration of the 66th Araw ng Kagitingan and Dambana ng Kagitingan held at Mt. Samat Shrine here.

In her speech, the President said the new Republic Act (RA) titled "An Act allowing Filipino World War II Veterans to continue receiving Philippine Government Pensions and Benefits, amended RA 6948 signed in April 1990.

In signing the new RA, the President upholds the policy of the State to "recognize and reward the courage and heroism of Filipino WW II veterans by granting them pensions and benefits even when similar pension and benefits are already provided for by the United States Government."

Under the new law, a veteran who is at least 65 years old shall be paid an old age pension of P5,000 monthly for life, unless he/she is receiving a similar pension for the same consideration from other government funds.

In case of death of WW II veteran, the surviving spouse shall, regardless of age, be paid a pension of P5,000 until he/she remarries or dies.

Since last year, President Arroyo said the government has doubled the allocation for old age pension for WW II veterans.

She said this amounted to P3 billion so that payment of arrears for the WW II pensioners will be fully paid this year.

There are a total of 240,000 pensioners all over the country who will benefit from the new law.

The President arrived this morning at the Mt. Samat Shrine in a helicopter.

She was received by AFP Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Tourism (DoT) Secretary Joseph Ace Durano, Education (DepEd) Secretary Jesli Lapus, Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane, Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ronaldo Puno, Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Leandro Mendoza, Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Rolando Andaya, Bataan Gov. Enrique Garcia Jr. and other local officials.

The President was accorded with full military honors upon her arrival after which, together with United Sates Ambassador Kristie Kenny and Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura, were ushered to the Collonade for the wreathlaying at the memorial. (PNA)

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