Rama promises P100,000 for war vets

Cebu City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama.
Cebu City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama. (File photo)

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama has issued a pledge that’s bound to make at least four Cebuano World War II veterans happy.

In a statement on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, Rama said they will each receive a one-time financial assistance of P100,000 from the Cebu City Government.

The announcement came as the country commemorated the 82nd Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), a national observance of the bravery and heroism of Filipino soldiers during the Fall of Bataan and Death March in the hands of invading Japanese forces during World War II.

Rama’s announcement was streamed live via the official Cebu City Government social media page and witnessed by Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia and Councilors Donaldo Hontiveros and Joel Garganera, during a program at Veterans’ Memorial at Plaza Independencia, Cebu City.

“I wish that we will proceed to come up with a resolution, giving in addition to their senior citizen (benefits) P100,000 each. One-time (assistance) not every year,” Rama said.

“The vice mayor and the rest will work it out under the Cultural Historical Affairs Commision (Chac) and the mayor will be waiting to have that resolution signed,” he added.

During the program on Tuesday, the Cebu City Government recognized the “last four remaining veterans” who fought during the Second World War II in Cebu City.

They were identified as First Lieutenant Vicente Bautista Echavez Jr., 106, who served from 1941 to 1946; Private First-Class Cesar Guerreo Estalilla, 97, who served from 1944 to 1945; Private Josefina Arnejo Magno, 100, who served from 1942 to 1945; and Corporal Amelia Ortiz, 95, who rendered wartime service from 1943 to 1945.

Among those who attended the program were members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines - Central Visayas led by Leonardo Fabiano and uniformed personnel.

In his speech, Garcia, who chairs the Chac said Araw ng Kagitingan recognizes real-life heroes who shed their blood, sweat, and tears to defend the country against foreign invaders.

“In them, we find qualities such as bravery, selflessness, patriotism, nationalism, and deep-love to our country. They truly are role models worth imitating and their example worthy of being followed,” Garcia said.

He urged Cebuanos and the youth to never forget the sacrifices of the veterans who fought for the country’s independence. / EHP


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