A News Magazine of the Philippine Veterans Affairs OfficeV O L U M E 4 I S S U E 3 O C T O B E R 2 0 1 1 SND Keynotes PVAO’s 39th Anniversary, Highlights the Agency’s Reforms DEFENSE SECRETARY VOLTAIRE T. GAZMIN, the Guest of Honor & Keynote Speaker in the 39th Anniversary of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) last September 23, 2011 highlighted the numerous reforms being under- taken by the agency in his keynote speech. “Your creation and operation of PVAO’s Anti-Fraud and Anti-Fixers Task Force in coordination with intelligence and law enforcement agencies have resulted in the arrests of fixers and fraudulent claimants, and their subsequent prosecution in our courts of law. I am also aware of the legal assistance and services made available by PVAO’s Legal Affairs Division to our pensioners who were victimized by fixers. You have really done a great help to your veterans, from the documenta- tion of evidences, and building of strong cases against the perpetrators until the litigation of their cases in court,” the SND said. Sec. Gazmin likewise commended PVAO for shifting its mode of pension delivery from mailing to the Direct RemittancePension Servicing System that eliminated ghost pensioners from its Pension Masterlist in consonance with Pres. Benigno Simeon“Noy-Noy” Aquino III’s “Tuwid na Daan” platform of good governance. He also lauded the PVAO’s conduct of intensified pensioners’ Revalidation Program that has prevented the occurrence offalse claims by fictitious veterans by way of closely monitoring the living status and validating the real identity of pensioners . The SND also affirmed the President’s commitment to pay the veterans’ pension increases in due time, noting theguarantee as provided in Section 17 of the Philippine Constitution. Expressing his full confidence in PVAO, Sec. Gazmin, moreover,added, “As a humble veteran, who bears the memory of having a father who was a veteran himself and who inhabited our nativeland for 102 years, I can only entrust myself, as all of must do, to the care of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, it being themanager of our veterans’ urgent concerns and aspirations.” This year’s program with the theme “PVAO: Patuloy sa Makabuluhang Pagbabago at Ibayong Serbisyo sa Beterano”also featured a reading of PVAO’s history from the perspective of Col. Cesar P. Pobre (Ret.), Ph.D., MNSA, a veteran & historian,and the solemn rendition of PVAO-VMMC Chorale’s winning arrangement of the song, “Para Sa ‘Yo” that aptly captures theagency’s message to its clientele. What elated PVAO officials and employees the most was the unprecedented presentation of a resolution from variousveterans organizations expressing appreciation and gratitude to the agency for its many years of continued services to the Filipinoveterans and their families. With the Administrator’s guidance to make the agency’s anniversary simple yet meaningful, the month-long celebrationcommenced with a theme-writing contest where central office and the field employees alike actively participated. It was followedby the launching of Milestones: A Photo Exhibit at the PVAO Covered Court which not only displayed the landmark accomplish-ments of the agency throughout the years but enjoined the employees to share a part of themselves by contributing pictures forthe exhibit as well. It also included a day of gratitude and recognition to model employees of the agency and an outreach to 300VMMC patients titled Ika-39 na Taong Anibersaryong Handog: Alay Pagkalinga at Paglilingkod. “SERBISYO SA BETERANO, SERBISYO SA BAYAN.”
PAGE 2 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 Sec. Voltaire T. Gazmin: Huwarang Lingkod-Bayan Mensahe at Pagpapakilala sa Panauhing Pandangal sa ika-39 na Taong Anibersaryo ng PVAO noong Setyember 23, 2011 Nais kong magpasalamat sa inyong lahat, sa ating mga panauhin, lalo na sa ating panauhing pandangal, sa inyong pakikiisa sa amin ngayong ika-39 na anibersaryo ng pagkakatatag ng Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. Sadyang ang PVAO ay laan para sa mga beterano – sila ang dahilan kung bakit mayroong Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. At iyon ay ipinaliwanag sa atin kanina sa pagbalangkas na ginawa ni Dr. Cesar Pobre sa kanyang pagbalik- tanaw sa kasaysayan ng PVAO. Tunay na nakakataba ng puso ang pagkilalang iginawad sa atin ng ating mga Veterans Leaders – sa pamamagitan ng isang Resolusyon ng Pagkilala sa serbisyong ibinigay ng PVAO sa loob ng 39 na taon ng kagana- pan. Palagay ko, ang pinakatatanging papuri na maaaring tangapin ng isang ahensya ay ang nanggaling sa mga taong kanyang pinaglilingkuran. Kaya’t hayaan ninyong buong lugod naming ihayag, kasama ng ating mga dating namuno sa PVAO, ang aming pagpapahalaga sa Resolusyon na iginawad ng ating mga veterans leaders, at makakaasa po kayo na lalo naming pag-iibayuhin ang aming paglilingkod sa ating mgabeterano at kanilang mga mahal sa buhay. Sabi nga ng ating Pangulo – Kayo ang Boss namin. Ang araw na ito ay para sa inyo. Kaya pati ang awit na inialay kanina ng PVAO Chorale ay pinamagatang ―Para Sa Iyo.‖ Itopo ang buod ng aming ―Service Philosophy.‖ Ito po ang paninindigan ng bawat kawani at kasapi ng Pangkat PVAO: na ang Serbisyo saBeterano ay Serbisyo sa ating Bayan. Kaya’t sa natatanging araw na ito, ay ating pinagkaisahang makapiling bilang ating Panauhing Pandangal ang isang huwarang Lingkod-Bayan, na masasabi natin na inilaan ang kanyang sarili—para sa “Ito po ang bayan. Siya po ay kilalang-kilala nating lahat, dahil bago pa siya nanungkulan sa Kagawaran ng Tanggulang paninindigan ng bawat Pambansa, siya po ay nanilbihan na sa Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas sa loob ng 38 taon, at dalawang kawani at kasapi ng taon na Ambassador sa Cambodia – for a total of 40 years—and still counting. Marahil, ang dugong beterano na nananalaytay sa kanyang mga ugat at patnubay ng kaniyang Pangkat PVAO: na ang ama na isa ring beterano ang nagbigay-lakas at tibay ng loob kaya nalagpasan niya ang mga hamon at Serbisyo sa Beterano ay pagsubok na kaniyang dinaanan.Ewan ko kung ilan sa atin ang nagkapalad na makapiling ang ating butihing ama hanggang tayo’y senior citizen na. Bihira siguro yun. Ang ating Guest of Honor ay hindi Serbisyo sa ating lamang senior citizen; Old Age pensioner na po siya ng pumanaw ang kanyang ama, si BGen. Bayan.” Segundo Gazmin, isang WWII veteran, sa edad na 103. Wow. Kaya naman nasundan niya ang maningning na career ng kanyang anak—sapul sa pag-graduate sa PMA Batch of 1968, at sa maagang mga tagumpay at mga medalyang kanyang inanibilang isang magaling na opisyal sa Philippine Army. Ang isang record na kahanga-hanga at mahirap pantayan ay ang kanyang pagkakahirang na Battalion Commander ng tatlongbeses.Tatlong battalion po ang kanyang pinamunuan—ang 45IB, ang 26IB, at ang 2nd Scout Ranger BN sa Mindanao. Natunghayan din ng kanyang ama ng ilang ulit siyang nag-oathtaking sa Malacanang—mula sapromotion niya to one-star general, as commander of the 103RD BDE sa Basilan, Mindanao; to two-star general as SOCOM Commander, Philippine Army; and to three-star general as CommandingGeneral, Philippine Army. At noong taong 1986, matapos ang EDSA 1, kasunod ang ilang makulay at madugong bahagi “...isang beterano atng ating kasaysayan, ang ating panauhing pandangal ay itinalagang pinuno ng Presidential SecurityGroup (PSG) – at sa kanyang mga kamay ay iniatang at ipinagkatiwala ang seguridad ng luklukan ng anak ng beterano, kaisakapangyarihan, at gayun na rin ang buhay at kapakanan ng Pangulo at unang pamilya ng Pilipinas. Sabi sa adhikain ng mganga ni General Ramon Farolan na isa ring beterano, at kanyang isinulat sa kanyang column sa Philip-pine Daily Inquirer kamakailan lamang, and I quote—―It tells a lot about the character of the man.‖ beterano...” Alam ko po na ibig na ninyo siyang marinig at makaniig, kaya mga kababayan, isa pong karan-galan at aking ikinalulugod na ipakilala sa inyo ang ating panauhing pandangal sa araw na ito—isangbeterano at anak ng beterano, kaisa sa adhikain ng mga beterano, ang ating Kalihim ng TanggulangPambansa ng Pilipinas, ang Kagalang-galang VOLTAIRE TUVERA GAZMIN.
PAGE 3 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 Continuing Enhancement of Services for the Veterans Speech of DND Sec. Voltaire T. Gazmin delivered during the 39th PVAO Anniversary on Sept. 23, 2011 at the PVAO Covered Court The dynamic & hardworking administrator of PVAO, retired Lt. Gen. Ernesto ―Nesty‖ Carolina; distinguished guests, our honored awardees in today’s ceremony; fellow veterans; the industrious officials & civilian employees of PVAO; fellow workers in government; ladies & gentle- men. Let me first express my thanks to General Carolina for his kind invitation for me to be with you on this proud occasion. We are happy to be here today as we mark PVAO’s 39th year of devoted service for the wellbeing of our veterans and their families. Allow me also to extend my warmest congratulations to our civilian personnel awardees and retirees whom we recognized & honored today, for their dedicated services to PVAO. Without doubt, it has been through their conglomerate good deeds and achievements that PVAO continues to be of genuine service to our veterans and their families. We should give a big round of applause to our awardees! The personal sacrifices of our war veterans and the important roles they played in our country’s history have been clearlyrecognized and honored by our government. Thus, in affirmation of our nation’s grateful thanks and the great responsibility thatour government owes to our veterans, enshrined in Section 7, Articles 16 of our 1987 Constitution which reads, ―The State shallprovide immediate and adequate care, benefits, and other forms of assistance to war veterans and veterans of military campaigns,their surviving spouses and orphans. Funds shall be provided therefore and due consideration shall be given them in the dispositionof agricultural lands of the public domain and, in appropriate cases, in the utilization of natural resources.‖ This is theConstitutional mandate that paved the way for the enactment of Republic Act No. 6948 in 1990 that granted pension andnon-pension benefits to our veterans and their beneficiaries, and the enactment of Republic Act No. 7696 in 1994 that providedfor the increases in the rates of the same benefits. I am pleased as I laud the concerted and continuing efforts of PVAO to institute real reforms for thebenefit of our veterans. Your implementation of the Direct Remittance Pension Servicing System, or DRPSS, has ensured faster, more efficient,and more accurate and secured pension delivery to our pensioners. This is an affirmation of the President’s ―Tuwid na Daan‖ as,thru this system, you have finally done away with ghost pensioners. Your conduct of intensified pensioners’ Revalidation Programhas effected to the continuous cleansing of our list of pensioners. By closely monitoring the true living status and validating the realidentity of our pensioners, you have prevented the occurrence of false claims by fictitious veterans. Your creation and operation of PVAO’s Anti-Fraud and Anti-Fixers Task Force in coordination with intelligence and lawenforcement agencies have resulted in the arrests of fixers and fraudulent claimants, and their subsequent prosecution in ourcourts of law. I am also aware of the legal assistance and services made available by PVAO’s Legal Affairs Division to ourpensioners who were victimized by fixers. You have really done a great help to your veterans, from the documentation ofevidences, and building of strong cases against the perpetrators until the litigation of their cases in court. I am aware of PVAO’s many more administrative programs that are meant to accord utmost benefits to our veterans,from their health concerns to the educational needs of their dependents. I am sure it will interest our fellow veterans to know of our President’s commitment to pay the increases in the pensionbenefits of our pensioners in due time. It may be late, but you will get paid. That is a debt, so you will get your money, thePresident said. Let us, therefore, express our total support to PVAO’s well-meaning efforts to be of utmost service to our veteransin the best possible way they can. As a humble veteran, who bears the memory of having a father who was a veteran himself and who inhabited our nativeland for 102 years, I can only entrust myself, as all of must do, to the care of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, it being themanager of our veterans’ urgent concerns and aspirations. I wish to commend even as I congratulate Administrator ―Nesty‖ Carolina, a veteran himself, for all the things he has beenearnestly doing for all of our veterans. And to all of our PVAO personnel, thank you as well for all the good things that you havedone for and will continue to do for our veterans. I am confident that with your manifested dedication, you shall be true to your theme, ―PVAO: Patuloy saMakabuluhang Pagbabago at Ibayong Serbisyo sa Beterano.‖ Happy anniversary and warmest congratulations! Maraming salamat at magandang umaga! ■
PAGE 4 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 Veteran Leaders Present Resolution of Appreciation In a symbolic act of lasting gratitude, leaders of various veterans organizations presented a Resolution of Appreciation to the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office during the agency’s 39th anniversary celebration last September 23, 2011 at the PVAO Covered Court, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City. The said resolution recognizes the cumulative accomplish- ments and significant achieve- ments of PVAO over the years and its impact the general welfare of the veterans and their legal dependents. Theseaccomplishments include the administration of pension to over 250,000 pensioners nationwide, the provisionof healthcare and educational benefits to the veterans and their families, the revitalization of a united Filipinoveterans community, the maintenance and development of national military shrines, and the cleansing andupdating of the Pensioners Master List. Sec. Voltaire T. Gazmin led the presentation of the resolution. Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina, togetherwith the past PVAO administrators present during the event—Dir. Gen. Umberto A. Rodriguez, Atty. HectorA. Villacorta, Gen. Fortunato U. Abat & Gen. Sinforoso S. Duque received the resolution for PVAO. ■DND Sec. Voltaire Gazmin presents the Resolution The leaders of various veterans organizations who were among the signatoriesto past and the present Administrators of PVAO. in the Resolution.
PAGE 5 Anniversary Issue * October 2011The Resolution of Appreciation presented by the leaders of veterans organizations during PVAO’s 39th Anniversary .
PAGE 6 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 Sec. Gazmin’s timely arrival gave him ample time to interact with veterans Discussing the plight of unrecognized guerrillas with Gen. Abat, TMSB Chairman The SND was delighted to see familiar faces“Milestones,” PVAO Photo Exhibit, was on display during the Anniversary week Presentation of PVAO’s document scanning and digitizing project
PAGE 7 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 The day started with a Thanks-giving mass The most important guests: our Veterans esThe emce PVAO-VMMC Chorale Our people who made our services to veterans & their beneficiaries possible through the yearsOur VMMC Colleagues Special thanks to these hardworking people The Administrator’s Team
PAGE Anniversary Issue * October 2011 PVAO & VMMC, Partners in Serving Veterans & Families Outreach Held for VMMC Patients Employees and officials ofPVAO and the Veterans MemorialMedical Center came together tohonor the veterans and their de-pendents during the gift-giving eventheld at the Basilio J. Valdez Hall inVMMC last September 21, 2011. Dubbed as “Ika-39 na TaongAnibersaryong Handog: Alay-Pagkalingaat Paglilingkod,” the said tribute is partof the 39th anniversary celebration ofPVAO. It aimed to pay homage tothe veterans and their dependents,particularly those in the hospitalwards, and to show that they are stillremembered and is very much partof the agency’s commemoration. VMMC Director, Dr. NonaF. Legaspi, even expressed in heropening remarks how the said tributedemonstrated the genuine concern In cheerful spirit: the PVAO & VMMC Outreach Teamof PVAO and VMMC to the veterans. “In my 32 years of service inVMMC, ngayon ko lang naramdaman ang tunay na pagkakaisa ng PVAO at VMMC sa pagpapakita ng pagmamalasakit sa ating mga beter-ano.” She further reiterated the commitment of all the officials and staff of VMMC in providing better and compassionate service toits patients, particularly the veterans and their dependents. Special Guest, Hon. Eduardo G. Batac, Undersecretary for Civil, Veterans, and Reserve Affairs, lauded the efforts of PVAOand VMMC in improving the hospitalization and medical services for the veterans. USec. Batac, the special guest for the said event,is a son of a veteran. In opening his message, USec. Batac shared how he personally feels privileged to be part of this special trib-ute to the veterans and their dependents at VMMC. His father, the late, Brigadier General Gonzalo L. Batac AFP (Ret.), spent hislast few days at VMMC due to a debilitating disease. After the messages, USec. Batac, PVAO Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina, and Dr. Legaspi led the distribution of“Pagkalinga Packs,” a gift bag which contains grocery and medicinal items that will support the patient’s recovery. Ten wheelchairswere also given to selected recipients. After the program, USec. Batac and Administrator Carolina also visited selected wards. Special music also filled the air as PVAO-VMMC Chorale rendered songs during the event. ■ A,PVAO assisted Usec. Batac in the distribution of Pagkalinga Packs to A soldier with amputated leg gets a wheelchair from PVAO VMMC patients
PAGE Anniversary Issue * October 2011 Dir. Legaspi: “Ngayon ko lang naramdaman na ang VMMC ay itinuturing na tunay na bahagi ng PVAO.” Defense, PVAO & VMMC officials A veteran looking at pictures printed on his couponChristmas isn’ too early for those w/generous hearts PVAO Division Chiefs facilitated distribution of “Pagkalinga Packs” to VMMC patients The veterans who received wheelchairs & Pagkalinga packs from PVAO UCVRA, A, PVAO & other officials aiding wheelchair recipients The hosts: Dr. June (VMMC) & Jet (PVAO) PVAO-VMMC Chorale singing “Para Sa ‘Yo” Ajjie & Archie– PVAO employees helping a veteran who is among the “abandoned patients” VMMC takes care of Dr. Legaspi checks patients’ condition Dir. Nona ascertained a patient’s condition prior to the program All smiles: The hard-working social workers of VMMC PVAO-VMMC Outreach Participants
PAGE 12 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 PVAO Employees & Service Partners, Honored PVAO is home to dedicated and committed public servants for the past 39 years. As traditionally held, model employ-ees, supervisors and retirees who have served our veterans for many years, were recognized during the anniversary week. Theagency honored four of its partner-institution in delivering benefits & services to veterans. Their plaques and cash incentiveswere awarded by no less than Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin.MODEL EXECUTIVES BEST SHRINE UNIT: Mt. Samat Shrine(L-R) Mrs. Raquel A. Cajuguiran—Chief, Claims Division, Mrs. Teresita C. Cuevas— Mr. Manolo Castillo : Best Shrine Curator & Best ShrineChief, Veterans Memorial and Historical Division & Mrs. Dolores M. Geronimo—Chief Unit for Mt. Samat National Shrine (Dambana ng Kagitin-Administrative Officer, VMMC . gan)MODEL SUPERVISORS BEST FIELD TEAM—FT Zamboanga(L-R) Mr. Daniel Ivan E. Jayaon, Mrs. Marina P. Barrientos, Mrs. Virginia D. Lopez, Field Service Extension Office (FSEO) 9 —Ms. Carlota M. Pascual, Mrs. Isabelita B. Encienzo, Mr. Em- Model Supervisor of the Zamboanga City represented by Mr. Michael C.manuel Biscocho, and Ms. Remedios A. Josol, with Adm. Ernesto Year CuevasG. Carolina, Ms. Mariciel Estacio-Acting Chief, Administrative Divi-sion, & Commo. Salvador T. Esguerra (Ret.) - Chief, MID.MODEL EMPLOYEES BEST FIELD EMPLOYEE Mrs. Anamy A. Dimaliwat,(L-R) Mrs. Lewina B. Dumelod, Mrs. Lilia A. Mijares, Mrs. Lilian G. Aquita- Model Employee of the Year Mr. Eribert John M. Puno of the Fieldnia, Mrs. Lorenza C. Fabellon, Mrs. Shiralee C. Nibalvos, Mr. Anthony Service Extension Office (FSEO) 3 —delos Reyes, Mr. Eduardo M. Lison, and Mr. Valerio C. Prado. Pampanga City
PAGE 13 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 PVAO R E T I R E E S Ms. Ana A. Nacis, SpecialMr. Heriberto L. Ruanto, Chief Administrative Ms. Julieta V. Mariano, Chief Admin. Ms. Ester F. Macatangay, Investigator III, LegalOfficer, Finance Division Officer, Administrative Division Admin. Officer V, Planning & Affairs Division (received Management Division by Ms. Virginia Gomba)(L-R) Mr. Nowel Guillermo Torino, Asst. Financial Claims Examiner, Field Team Batangas (posthumous award received by his widow, Mrs. Cecilia Torino);Mr. Joselito R. Reyes, Administrative Aide IV, General Services Section, (posthumous award received by his daughter, Ms. Karen Segumalian); Mr. DanielM. Baltazar, Security Guard I, Veterans Records and Management Division, (posthumous award received by his widow, Mrs. Erlinda Baltazar); Mr. RodolfoMagbanua, Administrative Aide III, Veterans Memorial and Historical Division, (award received by his son, Johndolf Magbanua) PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS Filipino War Veterans Foundation Armed Forces Foun- (FILVETS), Inc.—recognized for its dation for Education, continued strong partnership with PVAO Inc. (AFFEI) - honored in providing healthcare services the for its relentless sup- nation’s war heroes & their dependents port and partnership through the conduct of medical &dental with PVAO in its missions & maintenance of 11 Medical noble endeavor of Outreach Clinics nationwide. FILVETS ensuring a bright President Umberto Rodriguez received the future for the de- plaque on behalf of FILVETS, Inc. pendents of Filipino soldiers who were killed-in-action and permanently incapacitated through scholar- Philippine Military Academy Foundation, ship grants. AFFEI’s award was received by BGen. Raul J. Reyes Inc. (PMAFI) - honored for its pursuit of AFP, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, J1. academic excellence, character-building, and leadership training for the cadets of the Philippine Military Academy who are the future leaders and defenders of our nation. Philippine Army “Task Group BGen. Rosalino Alquiza AFP (Ret.), PMAFI Bantay” under the leadership President, received the award. of Col. Marcial O. Constante Jr. GSC (Cav) PA, Commanding Officer - recognized for con- tinuously securing the hal- lowed grounds of the Libingan Association of General and Flag Officers ng mga Bayani, thereby me- (AGFO) - awarded for the commitment and morializing the heroism of our passion it shares with PVAO for promoting fallen Filipino veterans and the Filipino Veterans’ agenda. Lt. Gen. Raul soldiers. S. Urgello AFP (Ret.), AGFO President, received the plaque for the organization.
PAGE 14 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 PVAO: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE* COL CESAR P. POBRE (Ret), PhD, MNSA To know how the Philippine Veterans AffairsOffice (PVAO) came to be what it is today, it would behelpful to have a historical perspective, keeping in mindthat the Office did not occur in a vacuum or in isolation. Itcame about through a process of conditioning by a seriesof positive and negative past forces and events. These mayhave been political, economic or social. Which is why weneed to look for its connections. Why did PVAO come into being? Let us look intothe past, into its origins. By the last decade of the 19 thcentury, the Filipinos, fed up by centuries of Spanishoppressive rule & no longer unable to keep their pent-upfeelings of what they called violent action for ―Kalayaan ng The Philippine Veterans BoardInang Bayan‖, launched the 1896 revolution. In a couple ofyears, that is in 1898, they succeeded in glorious triumph.But hardly a year after, even as the euphoria of their victory had not subsided and their efforts at setting up the governmentalmachinery of what was a liberal and democratic Philippine Republic still incomplete, the Filipinos had to fight again in defenseof their newly-won victory against the Americans. They were defeated, and again the Philippines was once more colonized,this time by the U.S. Both wars caused the people a lot of casualties. Countless Filipino warriors along with a good number of foreignerswho fought on their side were killed and wounded. Those killed left their families – wives, sons and daughters - destitute.Many of those wounded were rendered invalid for life, hardly able to eke a living. It was under these circumstances that the all-Filipino law-making body of the colonial government – the Philippine Legislature – did something to ameliorate the plight ofthe victims, particularly the invalids of the Philippine Revolution. Invalids of the Philippine-American War were not included,however. In its Resolution No. 8 of February 8, 1917, the Legislature created a joint committee to prepare a list of invalids.Then, a year later, on February 23, 1918, it passed Act No. 2756. This law empowered the Secretary of Interior to determinewho were the invalids, with the list drawn by the Committee as reference. Further, he was to establish, maintain and adminis-ter a home for the invalids, where they would be taken care of and given assistance. For the purpose he was authorized toreceive donations of all kinds and include its funding support in the yearly appropriation for his Department. Then, in 1935, following the grant of Philippine autonomy, the Commonwealth Government was established preparatory to independence in ten years. In June 1938, the law- making body, now the National Assembly, felt the need for the government to look after the welfare and well-being of all veterans. And as a gesture of grateful appreciation for their patriotic services to the country, it enacted a law (Commonwealth Act No. 288), repealing Act The Philippine Veterans Board Museum 2756 and creating a ―Board of Pensions for Veter- ans.‖ Subject to the Interior Secretary’s approvalit was to determine who were veterans, classify them by ranks and fix their pensions._______________*as read during the 23rd anniversary celebration of PVAO on September 23, 2011.This Anniversary Issue of the PVAO Bulletin is published by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office. For comments, questions, or reactions, you may write to: PVAO Strategic Communications Section at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Landline: 02-9124526 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com Text: PVAO<space>message send to 2920 Facebook Page: Philippine Veterans Affairs Office
PAGE 15 Anniversary Issue * October 2011 Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon, who was a veteran himself, must have been so concerned for the care and upkeep of the veterans that he ordered the Board, barely two months old, to be transferred from the Department of Interior to the Office of the President. Then, in 1940, under Commonwealth Act No. 605, the Board obtained an even more formal composition, with the Commissioner of the Budget as Chairman and the Commissioner of Civil Service and the Auditor General as members. The law also appropriated funds for the Board to discharge its functions. After the country became independent and the Third Republic of the Philippines inaugurated, the Philippine Congress (Senate and PVB Administrator Torralba & his four deputies House of Representatives) passed a law (RA No. 65). This law created the Philippine Veterans Board whose members were all veterans; it wasplaced under the DND. More importantly, the law created a bill of rights for veterans, granting educational benefits, disabil-ity and death pensions as well as veterans preference in civil service examinations. Four years later, in 1950, another law(RA 539) was passed creating a ―Board of Pensions of Veterans.‖ It is not clear whether it had the effect of reverting theboard to its former name. In any case, the new law was an improvement in that this time the board was now to pay pen-sions according to the manner prescribed by the law. This was to ensure against giving pension to fake veterans and thatpensions were actually received by the veterans. The monthly pension ranged from 30 to 100 pesos. Meanwhile, a Veterans Claims Commission was established under the Office of the President. It was to go overand decide all unsettled claims of Filipino veterans. Also, the Commission was to work and negotiate for more benefits forFilipino veterans from the US. This mandate appears to have stemmed from the general expectation that Filipino veteranswould get the same or similar benefits the US government would be providing for their American counterparts. On June 18, 1960, all the offices having to do with the administration of veterans benefits were abolished, includingthe Board of Pensions for Veterans, the Philippine Veterans Board, the Veterans Back Pay Commission, the Veterans ClaimsCommission, and the Claims Office under the Office of the AFP Judge Advocate General. Their functions and responsibili-ties as well as their records, supplies and equipment were all consolidated and brought under a new office – the PhilippinesVeterans Administration which was placed under the Office of the President. Shortly after Martial Law wasdeclared, Presidential Decree No. 1,dated 24 September 1972, was issued.The decree reorganized the executivebranch of the national government inaccordance with what was laid out as theIntegrated Reorganization Plan. Part ofthe Plan was the establishment of the Phil-ippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO)under the DND. This was why, in accor-dance with the decree and a subsequentLetter of Implementation, the Secretary of The Philippine Veterans Administration employees in Arroceros St., ManilaNational Defense ordered the creationand organization of the PVAO as outlinedin the reorganization plan. Among otherresponsibilities the PVAO assumed the functions of the Philippine Veterans Administration, the Veterans Claims SettlementStaff, and the Assistance Center for Ex-Servicemen, which were all abolished. The Veterans Memorial Hospital was likewisemade an operating unit under PVAO. And so as we now take a second look at PVAO, we see from its origins in American colonial times to this day, ahistorical process that has been shaped by the relational impact of positive and negative forces and events and as well thewill and the wisdom of men. With pride and satisfaction we also see PVAO as a government instrumentality doing well itsjob of looking after the care and treatment of veterans and keeping their patriotic services ever fresh in the memory of theFilipino people, particularly the young. It has thus become a prayer and a challenge that their welfare and well-being and the memory of their patrioticservices be preserved and enhanced by our leaders. Will they, in particular, those in the Defense Department and PVAO,listen to the prayer? Will they be able to stand equal to the challenge? Given their demonstrated competence, zeal andwill, I have no doubt that they will. Yes, they will, with God’s blessings. ■
Play golf - the heroes way! For many years now, the Veterans Gold Club has been the venue for golf tournaments that pave the way for various medical, dental, and educational assistance given to veterans and their dependents. Favored for its location, the Veterans GolfClub is one of the popular golf courses in MetroManila. Situated at the heart of Quezon Citybusiness district, it is very close to Trinoma and SMNorth malls and is accessible to cities along EDSAand other main thoroughfares. Veterans Golf Club is an 18-hole golf coursethat is open to the public. It offers an enjoyableround of golf for all enthusiasts with its challengingfairways with some water hazard, sand traps aroundthe well-kept greens and tucked with big trees.