Filipino World War II veterans here and abroad, all of them in the twilight years of their lives, may not fully appreciate the bill authored by Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay, no matter how noble its intention may be. The bill seeks to award P100,000 to any senior Filipino citizen who reaches the age of 100. Lagman calls it the “Centennial Award.”
But the elderly would rather have a one-time increase in their meager monthly pension of P5,000-P10,000, which they could enjoy immediately until they are called by their Creator to that “undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.”
As may be gleaned from records of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, the average mortality age of World War II veterans is 86. Records further show that only very few reached the age of 90-94. Consider, too, that a monthly pension of P5,000 is not enough to buy even just the so-called maintenance medicines, not to mention the much-needed vitamin supplements.
Along this line, we would like to humbly request Representative Lagman to author a bill increasing the P5,000-P10,000-monthly pension of the veterans, even on just a staggered basis for the next five years, by at least P1,000 every year. For sure, his authorship of such a bill will rally the veterans, including their children and grandchildren into voting for him and the supporters of the bill in Congress.
—GODOFREDO O. PETEZA,
Camarines Norte Veterans District-Region 5,
Veterans Federation of the Philippines,
JP Rizal Street, Barangay Camambugan,
Daet, Camarines Norte 4600