By: Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1, Ilocos Norte
LAOAG CITY – The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) is looking into a proposal to increase the monthly old-age pension of surviving Filipino veterans during World War II.
Retired Major General Raul Z. Caballes, PVAO deputy administrator, said the office has started discussing with lawmakers the proposed increase of monthly pension from P5,000 to P20,000.
He said national government officials are now looking for its immediate passage to benefit 14,013 veterans.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is also exploring the expansion of the veterans’ Philhealth insurance coverage through the universal healthcare program.
Last August 26, the DOH and the Department of National Defense (DND) signed an agreement for the Veterans Hospitalization Program (VHP).
The VHP is a program that extends hospitalization and medical care benefits to Filipino veterans and their dependents nationwide in hospitals that are accredited by the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) and PVAO.
It provides partial hospital subsidy of P1, 200 per day for hospital confinement and other applicable discounts up to 45 days per patient per year to be reimbursed by PVAO-VMMC to the accredited hospitals.
It also gives partial reimbursement of select procedures and additional benefits such as cataract surgery, cardiac procedures such as angiogram, angioplasty, pace-maker placement andheart by-pass; endoaneurysmectomy, and chemotherapeutic agents.
In addition, partial reimbursement may also be given to veterans and dependents that need hearing aid, hernia mesh, orthopedic implants and braces and dentures.
To date, there are 36,281 living World War II and post-war veterans in the country with an estimated 140,000 legal beneficiaries who are entitled to enjoy health care services from the government.#