Wake Up, Philippines!

Lump sum only for living WWII vets

Posted in Veterans Affairs by Erineus on February 17, 2009

Veronica Uy

MANILA, Philippines — Only living Filipino World War II veterans will receive the lump sum payments from the United States, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs section of the American embassy said Tuesday.

“The bill has not yet been signed into law. All we know is that only live Filipino veterans who served in World War II or who have military service are entitled to [the payments], not their surviving spouse. That is our instruction from the central office,” veterans’ representative Kristine Parayno said in a phone interview with INQUIRER.net.

Parayno said their office has not yet received the list of those who can avail of the payments of the procedures for filing claims.

The US Congress passed on Friday President Barack Obama’s $787-billion stimulus package, which included a $198-million allocation for the Filipino veterans.

The bill, which is scheduled to be signed Tuesday in Denver, would grant $9,000 to Filipino veterans living outside the US and $15,000 to those living there.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, from the 250,000 Filipino veterans who were originally listed as qualified to receive benefits from the US government, the number has gone down to between 18,000 and 20,000; some 13,000 are estimated to be living in the Philippines.

Parayno said their office has temporarily suspended the appointment system, which was installed January this year to schedule appointments at the US embassy’s veteran’s office, and now allows walk-in inquiries..

“We have been receiving a lot of inquiries since we resumed office today,” she said, noting that it was President’s Day yesterday and a holiday.



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