RP vets benefits on track
|Posted by Manila Mail under Latest News, US News|
WASHINGTON – Despite the slow process of claims of Filipino World War II veterans in the United States and in the Philippine, Ambassador Willy C. Gaa still sounded upbeat. He said that after recent consultations with the US Veterans Administration, the filing and processing of claims by Filipino veterans “remain on track.”
“We are in constant consultation with the concerned officials of the US Veterans Administration and the filing and processing of our claims remain on track,” Gaa said.
He said the Veterans Affairs Section of the embassy will continue to monitor the process.
“As of today, the 32,657 claims have been received,” he said. Of these 2,834 have been granted; 2,061 were payments to Filipino residents in the amount of US$9,000 and 773 were to US residents in the amount of US$15,000. He said a total of 1,060 claims have been denied and that a total of 28,763 claims are pending.
“As we celebrate our Independence Day this month, we must always remember the courage and sacrifice of our Filipino World War II veterans and rededicate ourselves to the ideals and values they fought for and to ensure that they continue to receive the recognition and benefits that they so justly deserve,” Ambassador Gaa said.
“We must also take this opportunity to thank our many friends in the US Congress and in Filipino-American communities across the United States for all their efforts on behalf of our veterans,” the Ambassador emphasized.
But in Los Angeles, some veterans are complaining about what they call as the “long wait and slow processing of the lump sum benefits.”
“We have waited for 63 long years for our benefits. Now they are going to let us wait again for another long wait,” said veteran Mariano Pastorin of Los Angeles.”
“But we can’t do anything but wait. We waited for the American forces to go back for us during the Japanese occupation. We have waited for our benefits. We are still waiting for our benefits.” Pastorin said.