• PVAO must care for WW II vets and widows. And answer its hotline

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    We’ve just signed the petition of Noel Castillo of Batangas, which is being propagated by that fantastic crusader for reforms through petitions–Change.org.

    The petition is for the top honchos of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) to assign dedicated personnel to answer its hotline number.

    The campaign for signatures is in Tagalog. It begins by explaining to the citizen being asked to sign it that—“Buong araw na walang sumasagot o lagi na lang busy kapag tumatawag ang mga World War II Veterans sa Philippine Veterans Affairs Office o PVAO hotline. Minsan kailangan nilang tanungin kung saang mga ospital pupwedeng magpagamot o bakit may buwang di dumadating ang kanilang pensyon. Higit 80-taong gulang na sila, pati na rin ang mga naiwan nilang asawa. Karamihan, sa tawag sa telepono, hindi sa PVAO website, sila umaasa kumuha ng impormasyon. Yan tuloy, napipilitan ang ibang baybayin ang PVAO office sa Manila kahit ugod-ugod na. Hahayaan mo bang magpatuloy ito?”

    Translation: “The whole day no one answers phone calls made by World War II veterans to the hotline of the Philippine Veterans Office or PVAO or the number is always busy. Sometimes they need to ask which hospital they should go to for treatment or why there are months when their pensions don’t arrive. They are more than 80 years old, as are the veterans’ widows. Most depend on the telephone, not the PVAO website, get information. As a result of the unattended and busy hotline, some are forced to take the journey to the PVAO office in Manila, even if they can hardly walk. Would you let this situation go on?”

    Some 2,535 supporters have signed the petition as of this writing. 2,465 more signatures are needed.

    The petition for “Dedicated personnel for PVAO hotline because no one answers the phone” is addressed to PVAO Administrator Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina (Philippine Veteran Affairs Office).

    The petition also explains that the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office is the government agency whose primary task is to serve as the instrument for taking care of the interests and well-being of the WW II veterans, their widows and orphans.

    It’s known to many that the Second World War happened in the 1940s. If one was a soldier at that time, his age now would be more or less 90.

    The PVAO office is therefore mandated to serve are really in their twilight years.

    This is why the petitioner are appealing to the PVAO management led by Administrator Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina (AFT) Ret, that personnel be placed to answer their advertised hotline, which always rings unanswered and something be done about the telephones that are always busy—even if you spend the whole day dialing.

    The WW II veterans or the widows of veterans seeking information and assistance are so old–they are at death’s door. Traveling to the PVAO office is a suffering for them.

    But many of them have to undergo the pain of visiting the PVAO office.

    Another request is to please have hotlines open even after office hours.

    The PVAO’s vision statement sees itself as “A dynamic, committed and effective organization imbued with the highest standards of integrity, competence and professionalism in delivering benefits and services to all veterans and their beneficiaries, promoting their general welfare and immortalizing the veterans’ heroic deed.”

    May the highest officials, President Aquino, the commander in chief, and the Defense Secretary Voltaire Gasmin, and other influential officials notice this plea and favor it with their endorsement to Gen. Carolina.

    Readers of the Times who wish to sign the petition and send it to their friends should go to Change.org.

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    2 Comments

    1. Atty. Roslee M. Formoso on

      Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) handles matters pertaining to the Guerillas, ROTC Hunters, USAFFEE and Civilians who fought or aid the combatants in whatever manner. Veterans Medical Memorial Hospital (VMMC) is their hospital. For those who does not know Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo, he is ROTC Hunter who actually fought the Japanese in Mindanao and the event was recorded by the Americans. Col. de Ocampo together with his companions the ROTC Hunters heroic act are recorded and recognized by Washington D.C.

      During the term of President Ronald Reagan, Col. de Ocampo together with Col. Ramon P. Mendoza my father lobbied for the signing into law that “all World War II Veterans be considered U.S. Immigrant”. President Reagan signed it into law and that’s the reason why there are a lot of VFP members and non members Veterans who just walked into the U.S. Embassy Manila and outright handed them their immigrant visas.

    2. Atty. Roslee M. Formoso on

      Can I clarify some matters. Philippine Army in uniform at the outbreak of World War II, does not get their pension at PVAO. PA of Fort McKinley WWII all their problems and pensions are dealt with in the U.S. Embassy Manila. All their pensions are retired army pensions and dispensed at the U.S. Embassy. A hospital was built for them, I believe one in the South, Paranaque or Cavite.

      World War II Veterans receiving pensions in PVAO are NOT Philippine Army in uniform at the outbreak of WWII but they are Guerillas, ROTC Hunters, USAFFEE, civilians. Veterans Memorial Hospital are their hospital.