LAOAG CITY, Ilocos Norte: The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) on Thursday expressed concern over the plight of surviving World War II veterans who are clamoring for an increase in their monthly old-age pension.
Retired Maj. Gen. Raul Caballes, PVAO deputy administrator, said their office is seeking a monthly pension of P20,000 from the current P5,000 which they have discussed with lawmakers.
“Once the proposal is approved and takes effect, there will be at least 14,013 veterans who will be benefitted,” Caballes said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is also looking at the possibility of expanding the veterans’ PhilHealth insurance coverage through the universal healthcare program.
PVAO records showed that there are 36,281 living World War II and post-war veterans in the country with some 140,000 legal beneficiaries who are entitled to government’s health care services.
Recently, the DOH and the Department of National Defense entered into an agreement under the Veterans Hospitalization Program (VHP) to extend hospitalization and medical care benefits to veterans and their dependents nationwide.
DOH officials said the VHP includes hospitalization of veterans in hospitals that are accredited by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and PVAO.
Under the program, a veteran is provided a partial subsidy of P1,200 daily for hospital confinement and other applicable discounts up to 45 days per patient per year; accredited hospitals receives the subsidy from PVAO and VMMC.
The program also includes partial reimbursement for cataract surgery, cardiac procedures such as angiogram, angioplasty, pace-maker placement and heart by-pass; endoaneurysmectomy and chemotherapeutic agents.
Partial reimbursement may also be given to veterans and dependents that need hearing aid, hernia mesh, orthopedic implants and braces and dentures.