WW II Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund now open for applications
Manila (20 February) -- World War II Filipino veterans (Filvets) may now apply for the one-time lump sum payment from the new US economic stimulus law.
The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) is now working with US Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) in receiving and processing the applications for the World War II Filipino Veterans Equity Fund after US President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law this week.
The new law set aside one-time payments to eligible and surviving Filvets in recognition for their services during the last world war. Filvets who are US citizens will receive US$15,000 while non-US citizens will get US$9,000.
Aside from the PVAO main office at Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, USDVA will be setting up 17 satellite offices in PVAO bureaus starting next week.
The US Embassy is encouraging Filvets to apply in person and bring identification documents such passport, driver's license, senior citizen ID, Postal ID, voter's ID, VA claim number, service number, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office claim number, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office pension bank account number and US passport for American citizens.
PVAO has prepared wheelchairs, coffee and other amenities to make the applications of Filvets and accompanying relatives comfortable.
The Manila Regional Office of the USDA will make arrangements to obtain the applications for Filvets who could not come in person. Unfortunately, the lump sum payments are limited only to surviving veterans and applications from spouses, widows and children of deceased Filvets will not be accepted.
According to the US Embassy website, Filvets may be eligible to the one-time payment authorized by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 if they are:
- Persons who served before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States ;
- Members of the organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the Army of the United States;
- Persons who served in the Philippine Scouts under Section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945; and
- Service members in each of the three categories above must have been discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable.
Eligible Filvets have only until February 16, 2010 to file their claim for the one-time lump sum payments.
PVAO can be reached through 995-0888 while the US Embassy can be contacted through its public affairs office at 301-2000 local numbers 2363 and 2230. (PIA-MMIO) [top]