Today's Punto
Today's Punto
Duterte supports vets
By Ernie B. Esconde

Apr 10, 2018

BALANGA CITY -- Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said that President Duterte has the welfare of World War II veterans at heart and will fully support them.

The secretary was guest of honor and speaker in the Parangal sa mga Beterano given late afternoon by the Bataan provincial government at the Capitol compound here as part of the observance of the 76th year of Araw ng Kagitingan.

On the proposed bill in Congress and Senate increasing the pension of veterans, he said that he knows the President will approve it.

“Kapag ipinasa ng Kongreso, alam ko agad itong pipirmahan ng Presidente. Napakaganda ng alaga niya sa mga beterano at sundalo,” the secretary said.

He said the monthly pension of veterans of P5,000 given in 1995 by then President Cory Aquino has lesser value today. “Kakaunti na halaga nito. Dagdagan naman natin para hindi mahirapan ang ating mga beterano. Suportado ako,” Lorenzana said.

After visiting the Veterans Memorial Center in Quezon City and seeing its condition, the President released a big amount for the purchase of equipment for the hospital, he said.

Lorenzana said he will confer with Secretary Duque of the Department of Health on having veteran’s wards in district and provincial hospitals under the DOH.

Representative Geraldine Roman of Bataan’s first district announced that she has filed a bill in Congress that seeks to raise the monthly pension of WWII and Korean veterans from P5,000 to P20,000.

A counterpart bill was filed in the Senate by Senator Gregorio Honasan, she said.

She said it is moving and is hopeful that it will be passed by Congress. “Kaunti na lang trabaho ang naghihintay sa atin,” Roman told the applauding veterans.

Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia lauded the veterans some in wheelchair and limping. It was noticeable that there were only a few original WWII veterans. Most of those who attended the occasion were surviving spouses.

“Sila ang nagbigay ng matinding sakripisyo at dedikasyon para makamit natin ang kasarinlan na tinatamasa natin ngayon. Masuwerte tayong mga kabataan. Ngayon, hindi na natin kailangang mamatay sa giyera. Pwede na tayong mabuhay upang pagsilbihan ang ating bayan dahil sa sakripisyo ng mga beterano,” the governor said.

Garcia announced the transformation of Mount Samat through the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) into a worldclass shrine.

The provincial government paid tribute to WWII veterans through a long foot parade and parade of fl oats.

The floats depicted some major events showing the cruelty of war until Bataan fell on April 9, 1942 and the infamous Death March that followed.

The last two fl oats showed that despite the damage, Bataan rose from the ashes and now on the way to attaining the lowest poverty index in the country by year 2020.

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