THE United States (US) Government through its Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) has given Tuesday at least $7.2 billion to eligible Filipino World War II (FWWII) veterans, official said.

USDVA-Manila Director Jon Skelly said that approximately half of the P7.2 billion was paid to FWWII veterans with American citizenship while the other half to non-US citizen Filipino veterans.

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Skelly said that 12,846 eligible FWWII veterans received the amount. He added that their applications had been approved by the USDVA.

As of February 16, Skelly said his office received some 40,000 applications from FWWII veterans, who wished to avail of the benefit through the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“We continue to pay around $8 million monthly in previous and continuing benefits to Filipino veterans and their family members,” Skelly said.

The staff will gladly review records of individual veterans or their survivors “to make sure that these heroes are receiving all benefits to which they are entitled,” said Skelly. (Bong Garcia)