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Home Sections Filipino-Veterans' Lobby Senate Committee Approves FilVets Bill
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Sections - Filipino-Veterans' Lobby
Thursday, 28 June 2007 00:24

The News UpFront: (TOP STORY) as of Thursday, 28 June 2007

~~ The future looks promising for the remaining Filipino World War veterans in the Philippines and in the United States as the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a special set of benefits for them. A lengthy discussion is expected when the legislation goes to the full Senate.

A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE

Bill Providing Benefits for Filipino War Veterans Up for Full Senate Debate

By ROMEO P. MARQUEZ

SAN DIEGO - The United States government moved closer to bestowing justice on hapless Filipino veterans as the bill providing for their benefits hurdled a committee in the Senate and now goes to the floor for discussion.

The committee's decision to report out the bill on Wednesday was already a significant milestone in that for the first time in one-and-a half decade, the prospect of correcting over 60 years of injustice appears within grasp.

"For the first time ever in history," an elated Philippine Ambassador Willy C. Gaa said in Washington, DC, "the important contribution of Filipino veterans of the last World War is now being officially recognized by a US legislative enactment".

After the bruising war in the Pacific theatre, the surviving veterans continued to wage another battle in the US Congress, this one more painful as it involves restoring respect and dignity as fighting men which the Rescission Act of 1946 had taken away from them.

Thousands of veterans in the US and in the Philippines stand to profit from the omnibus benefits bill (S. 1315 or Veterans Benefits and Emoluments Act) that provides a special set of entitlements, according to Gaa.

News reports from Capitol Hill said the committee chaired by Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) marked out the bill conferring full veterans status to Filipino veterans for full Senate discussion.

"Our country owes a debt of gratitude to the Filipino veterans and this measure will not only remedy a long-standing injustice but fulfill our Nation's promises to those who served as part of our Armed Forces," Akaka said.

The features of the bill, as reported by Ado Paglinawan, a former official of the Philippine Embassy who witnessed the event, are as follows:

Restores full veterans status to Filipino veterans of World War II who lost this status under the Rescission Acts of 1946.

Pays Filipino veterans of World War II who suffer from disabilities incurred or aggravated by military service with service-connected compensation at the full rate, regardless of where they live.

Permits Filipino veterans of World War II and survivors residing in the United States to receive pensions and death pensions paid at the same rate and under the same conditions as U.S. veterans.

Provides Filipino veterans of World War II residing outside of the United States a special pension and death pension paid at a lower flat rate which does not require documentation of income, assets, and medical expenses.

"With this bill’s eventual passage to law, thousands of Filipino veterans living in the Philippines are set to receive benefits, and more importantly, the US Government’s recognition for their courage and valor while heeding the call of President Franklyn Roosevelt to join in the war effort," Gaa said. # # #

BREAKING NEWS -
Issue No. 41 NEWS WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR

A community service of the Philippine Village Voice (
PhilVoiceNews@aol.com or at 619.265.0611) for the information and better understanding of the public.



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