Law deems veteran ‘disabled’ upon reaching 70
After President Duterte announced last year that P4.7 billion would be released for the payment of unpaid benefits of World War II veterans and their widows, and for retired soldiers who were at least 80 years old, I wrote a letter to Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina, the administrator of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.
I informed him that my husband, Robert C. Villanueva, a Peftok (Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea) veteran turned 70 years old on May 16, 2002. I added that when he died on Oct. 7, 2003, he had not received the TAD (total administrative disability) pension, which veterans become entitled to when they reach age 70.
I also wrote that my husband would have been 84 years old last year, and that I hoped that Peftok veterans and their widows would be included in the list of TAD pension beneficiaries; after all, retired soldiers who were at least 80 years old would be given their TAD pension.
Carolina replied that the PVAO would remit my husband’s TAD pension to my pension account in Landbank. This elated me. However, I was puzzled by the next paragraph of the letter. Carolina wrote that only the wife and unmarried minor children of disabled veterans are entitled to the counterpart TAD pension.
I wrote to him again on Dec. 5, 2016. I cited Republic Act No. 6948 which mandates that a veteran, with or without a service-connected disability, upon reaching the age of 70, is deemed totally disabled and becomes entitled to the TAD pension (P1,700 a month), and his wife and each unmarried minor child become entitled to the counterpart TAD pension (P500 a month).
I requested Carolina to send me my husband’s TAD pension and my counterpart TAD pension retroactive to May 2002. I finally received my husband’s TAD pension on Dec. 21, 2016, but not my TAD pension. Carolina did not answer my Dec. 5, 2016, letter to him. I hope he will see his mistake and give justice to my claim for my TAD pension and to the claims of other veterans’ widows who may be in the same situation I am now.
ERLINDA P. VILLANUEVA, Tobiasville, Bantug, Muñoz Science City, Nueva Ecija
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