Vets warned against fixers
Iloilo City (25 February) -- The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) - Iloilo has warned World War II veterans and their relatives in Western Visayas against unscrupulous individuals who sell application forms and promise speedy processing of claims for the one-time lump-sum benefit payment granted by the United States government.
PVAO-Iloilo Director Janet Faderan, in a radio interview, said she received information about the presence of these unscrupulous persons in the lobby of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol at the start of the interview and processing of the compensation claims yesterday.
The PVAO-Iloilo is one of the 14 locations in the country chosen by the US Department of Veterans Affairs Manila Regional Office for its extensive outreach from February 24 to 26, 2009 to ensure that all eligible veterans in Western Visayas receive their rightful benefits as soon as possible.
To accommodate the large number of veterans, the PVAO-Iloilo accepted the offer of the Iloilo provincial government to conduct the interview and processing of claims at the new Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
PVAO-Iloilo office is located at the Old Provincial Capitol Building, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.
As of 7 p.m. of February 24, Faderan said around 200 applications have been received by the US representatives from the 1,476 veterans who were given priority numbers during the day.
However, the giving of priority numbers was discontinued according to PVAO Iloilo. Instead, a new scheme will be implemented so that more veterans will be accommodated by the representatives from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, who will be in the city until Thursday.
Aside from the provinces in Western Visayas, PVAO - Iloilo also serves Palawan and Romblon.
Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal directed the PVAO to set up fast track centers in the provinces hosting large groups of veterans to assist them in claiming these compensation benefits.
The one time lump sum benefit payment for Filipino WWII veterans is part of the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" signed last February 17, 2009 by President Barack Obama. Veterans who have become US citizens will receive $15,000 while those that are non-US citizen will get $9,000.
In accordance with the law, veterans must file their claims not later than February 16, 2010. (LAFrench/PIA) [top]