MANILAFrom a peak of 260,000 veterans when World War II ended in 1944, only 5,500 are alive as of today, Oct. 19, 2018, including some 50 of them, whose ages are over the century mark.
This is the present record we have at PVAO (Philippine Veterans Affairs Office), retired Brig. Gen. Restituto Aguilar, chief of PVAO Historical Division, said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency on the eve of the 74th anniversary of the historic Leyte Landing by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
Aguilar said that aside from the 50 war veterans over 100 years old, the remaining 4,450 veterans are over 90 years old.
These veterans continue to receive their monthly pension of PHP6,700 as provided by law, but the good news is that this will be increased to PHP20,000 when a new law increasing the pension of our war veterans will be signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Aguinaldo said.
PVAO under the leadership of Undersecretary Ernesto G. Carolina and the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) have been pushing for the increase in the monthly old-age pension of World War II veterans, who have put their lives on the line to defend freedom and democracy.
During the hearings conducted by Congress, Carolina assured that PVAO has enough savings to support its initial implementation of the proposed monthly pension for World War II veterans.
VFP President Manuel Pamaran has also expressed his strong support for the increase of pension of war veterans now, not later.
Senators Gregorio Gringo Honasan and Panfilo Ping Lacson, both former soldiers, supported the pension increase. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency