PILAR, Bataan -- President Rodrigo Duterte directed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and Department of National Defense (DND) to expedite the early release of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) retirees’ pension credentials for fiscal years 2008 to 2013 amounting to over P6 billion.
The commander-in-chief made the pronouncement during the 75th Araw ng Kagitingan rites at the Mount Samat National Shrine which carried the theme “Parangal sa mga Beterano tungo sa Bayan na nararapat sa Pilipino, mga Pilipino na nararapat sa Bayan.”
In his speech, Duterte acknowledged the strong relations of the Philippines and the United States.
“In that war we never asked for, we fought shoulder to shoulder with a country that is now the Philippines’ only Defense Treaty ally- the United States of America. This shared juncture in our past should be a firm basis for moving our relations forward with full and mutual respect and sovereignty. As we fought together to stave off the enemy, then, so we should help each other to address the threats that confront our societies, our region, and our world,” he said.
Moreover, the President noted the transformation of the country’s relationship with its former adversary, Japan.
“With our meaningful shared history, the Philippines and Japan emerged from a benighted period into a bright era of an expanding space of unprecedented partnership. In these modern times, Japan and the Philippines are new allies for peace, development, and rule of law in the region,” he said.
Duterte also disclosed some of the benefits his administration is working on veteran welfare.
These include settling the backlog on the disability pension, making the management of almost 2,000 pension accounts more efficient, and free healthcare of veterans and their dependents at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center and 152 Veterans accredited hospitals nationwide.
The government has also subsidized the education of more than 2,500 of veteran dependents under the Iskolar ng Bayan Program.
“These entitlements cannot be compared to the sacrifices you have made but we want you to know our nation, our people are grateful to you for what you have done and we will do better,” he stressed. (Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu/PIA-3)