"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Friday, April 25, 2008

US Senate Passes Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007, Filipino World War II Veterans To Get Pension

About 13,000 Filipino World War II veterans will soon receive $300 in monthly pension and benefits from the United States after its Senate passed the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007 with a vote of 96 to 1. For some time, some senators had been stalling the bill’s passage on account that the Philippine Veterans law would cancel pension benefits to veterans who would choose to receive pension from the US.

Senator Richard Gordon in a few months successfully shepherded the passage of Senate Bill No. 142 amending Sec. 10 of Republic Act No. 6948 or “An Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents.” RA 6948, repeatedly referred to in the debates of the US Senate, previously forfeited the pension from the Philippine government should a similar pension be given by the US government.

At the Araw ng Kagitingan rites held in Mt. Samat on April 9, Gordon thanked Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for her vocal support for more benefits for the veterans, and Representatives Carissa Coscolluela and Herminia Roman who co-authored the Lower House version of S.B. 142.

“We can only be honored to have played a part in securing what may be final victory for our
aging veterans. The US Senate’s passage of the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007 finally settles a 60-year old question of honor and justice long denied to our veterans who are mostly now in their eighties. Certainly, the expected benefits will provide comfort in their waning years, but what matters really is the American government’s recognition of their heroism, valor and sacrifice,” said Gordon.

Gordon, on behalf of the veterans and their families, thanked US Senator Daniel Akaka, sponsor of the Senate bill, Sen. Daniel Inouye and Rep. Bob Filner. Gordon was assisted by US Amb. Willy Gaa in his efforts to secure passage of the bill.

The Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007 expands the coverage of veterans’ benefits, including a program of insurance for service-connected disability, expanded eligibility for retroactive benefits traumatic injury protection coverage, housing benefits for those with severe burn injuries, and extension to two years of monthly educational assistance for apprenticeship and on-the-job training.


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