November 30, 2023

The Department of National Defense reaffirmed its commitment to promote the welfare and well-being of all Filipino veterans.

This as the country marked the start of the commemoration of the Philippine Veterans Week (PVW) which runs until April 12.

In a statement, DND chief Carlito Galvez Jr. said he is profoundly grateful to the veteran leaders and support institutions, partner organizations, as well as the youth sector for their participation in honoring the memory of the Filipino patriots.

Napakahalaga ng sama-sama nating pagbabalik-tanaw sa mga naiambag ng ating mga beterano sa ating natatanging kasaysayan, kasalukuyan at kinabukasan,” he said.

Galvez said one of the DND’s legislative priorities is the bill seeking to create the Philippine Veterans Authority by integrating the functions of agencies mandated to serve veterans such as Philippine Veterans’ Affairs Office, the Philippine Veterans Assistance Commission, and the Board of Trustees of the Veterans of World War II.

He added the DND is pushing for the enactment of House Bill 2490 or “An Act Rationalizing the Disability Pension of Veterans,” which aims to uplift the lives of disabled veterans, who incurred military service-connected disability, sickness and injury.

Under the measure, disability pension rates would be increased to P4,500 for the lowest disability rating and up to P10,000 for the highest disability rating.

This would translate to a 488 percent increase from the current disability pensions rates ranging from P1,000 to P1,700 under Republic Act 6948 which was enacted in 1990.

Guided by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision of a stronger and better Philippines through economic recovery, national unity and nation-building, Galvez assured the stakeholders that the government will always side with the welfare and livelihood of the men and women in uniform.

“Be assured that the One Defense Team always puts importance on the well-being of our veterans, soldiers, and civilian human resource,” the DND chief said.

This year’s PVW carries the theme, “Kagitingan ng mga beterano, pundasyon ng nagkakaisang Pilipino” and calls for unity and solidarity as Filipinos are reminded of the value of working together and sharing in the burdens of the people. – PNA