As a guerrilla veteran of World War II, I wondered why Congress did not provide funds in the 2012 annual budget for the increase of the veterans’ monthly old-age pension—from the meager amount of P5,000 to P10,000—despite assurances from the chair of the House Appropriations Committee in the 14th Congress and from Sen. Manuel Villar who promised in his letter to work for it in the Senate. I surmised the proposed increase was to attract the veterans to vote for administration candidates in the 2010 presidential election. Poor veterans, they believed in that promise.
In the next few months, Congress will convene to hear the State of the Nation Address of President Aquino, and then its members will soon be preparing for the 2013 mid-term elections and campaigning for votes, including those of the veterans who, in the twilight of their lives, have been further “debilitated” by the skyrocketing prices of prime commodities.
Doles have not done any good, but just made poor citizens lazy, even driving them to jueteng and the like, which admittedly remain rampant throughout the country. But before it adjourns this year, Congress has to pass the 2012 General Appropriations Act, presumably with funds earmarked for election purposes.
It is hoped that the increase in the veterans’ monthly old-age pension will be included in the national budget in order for them to at least have the wondrous miracle of life before their Creator calls them to that “undiscovered country from whose bourn no travelers return.” And the congressmen and senators can rest assured that the veterans will cherish their benevolence until time shall be no more.
—GODOFREDO O. PETEZA, district commander, Camarines Norte Veterans District-Region 5, Veterans Federation of the Philippines, JP Rizal Street, Barangay Camambugan, Daet, Camarines Norte 4600