At a special forum held in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City, military veterans groups backed by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) proposed to lower the age qualification for pension applicants from 65 to 60 years old; more than 150 veterans were in attendance.
Rodulfo Bumaat, vice president of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, said the age qualification must be lowered so that pensioners can enjoy due benefits longer as the current life expectancy of Filipinos is 68, “65 is too old” as Bumaat puts it. He also said on behalf of attending veteran groups that they are asking for a 2.5% increase in the monthly pension
Romeo Ambut, president of the Cebu Armed Forces of the Philippines Retired Veterans Association, notes that the proposal is not an easy one because it is mandated by law in Republic Act 6948, or the Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents Act, that the age qualification is 65. He still said that they will bring up the issue with other veteran groups.
The PVAO head for Central Visayas, Reggie Sabandal, supported the proposal the veterans’ cause, and added that once she attains the necessary papers in the region, she will refer them to the PVAO administration. As the forum also discussed issues regarding assistance in availing of medical and hospitalization benefits, Sabandal said they have to pay for such, but will be reimbursed by PVAO.
A version of this story appeared on Manila Bulletin.
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