MANILA – While President Aquino has doubled the government’s burial assistance to war veterans to P20,000, the said amount is still not enough to purchase a cemetery plot.
According to Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina, administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), the burial assistance will be available to veterans starting on December 12 after the President signed Republic Act No. 10649 last month.
However, according to the veterans and their relatives, the approved amount of P20,000 is still not enough to cover the price of a burial plot which is priced anywhere from P30,000 to P60,000.
Carolina said that the agency will reimburse the claim provided that it was filed two years from the death of the veteran.
The last increase in benefits was in April 1994. Thus, war veterans are still pushing for bills that will help them get additional pension.
House Bill No. 2367 aims to increase the monthly old age pension of World War II and Korean and Vietnam wars veterans who are not receiving pension from the Armed Forces of the Philippines to P20,000. Meanwhile, Senate Bill No. 638 proposes an amount of P6,000 monthly, increasing every year until it reaches P10,000.
Other bills that are pending in Congress include HB 2511, which provides immediate aid to the family of a soldier killed in line of duty, and HB 2225 and SB 830, which aims to build more hospitals for war veterans.