10,000 vets get lump sum

MANILA – The US embassy said in a statement that as of November 20, more than 10,000 Filipino and Filipino-American veterans of World War II have received their one-time compensation for their military services during the war, totaling nearly P5.8 billion. (See another story on p. 7.)

The one-time compensation of $9,000 for those who have kept their Filipino citizenship and $15,000 for those who have become American citizens recognizes that the service of Filipinos during the war and is included in the 2009 Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation law, which was passed by the US Congress and signed by President Obama in February 2009.

The embassy reminded other veterans who may still be living that they have until February 16, 2010.
“There is no ‘master list’ of eligible veterans for this new, one-time benefit. Each claim is unique and decided on its own merits. All veterans who feel they may be eligible are encouraged to apply,” it said.

“The application process is free and simple, and there is no need to pay anyone to assist in completing the form, which can be mailed to the US embassy. Additional outreach activities will be conducted around the country to ensure that all eligible veterans have an opportunity to apply,” it added.

Application instructions for this one-time compensation are US Embassy website ttp://manila.usembassy.gov.
The paid-out P5.8 billion was equally divided between Filipino Americans and Filipinos, the embassy said.
This new compensation is apart from the previous and continuing for these veterans and others, including family members. The embassy’s veterans affairs office said it pays more than P800 million per month in benefits to veterans in the Philippines.
The number of Filipino and Filipino-American World War II veterans who are still alive was initially estimated at between 15,000 and 20,000. But many are dying due to old age and sickness.

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