Panabo mayor pushes veterans' agenda
by RG Alama
Davao City (9 May) -- Outgoing Panabo City Mayor Rey P. Gavina whose third and final term as local chief executive expires this year, has put off momentarily his political retirement plan in order to help push for the welfare of the remaining military veterans as the third nominee of the Veterans Freedom Party.
“I was planning to go into farming, in fact I was consistently attending various farming seminars so that I can concentrate on the farm after my term ends, but I have to give way to help advance the welfare of our veterans,” Gavina said.
The City Mayor is the son of local World War II hero Silvestre Gavina who saw action in bloody skirmishes versus the Japanese forces in the area now covered by the present Davao del Norte.
After the war and the years that followed until his death, the elder Gavina was actively helping less fortunate veterans as the Vice-President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines.
Mayor Gavina says that in order for him to be elected as Party list representative of the VFP, he needs about 6% of the total electoral votes. And if lucky, Gavina says he willl work for the welfare and interests of the country’s veterans, which Gavina said has only 12,000 living members and many of them are in their 80s.
Gavina said that in his City he has instituted certain measures to help the veteran which was the commitment he inherited from his father. One of which is the P5, 000 burial assistance given to the family of a dead veteran and providing a municipal cemetery for veterans.
He said he hopes that the P5,000 burial assistance will be increased to P10,000 before his term ends as he notice that there are only few remaining living veterans.
Gavina bewailed the lack of funding and the snail-paced work at the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, as he said that the treatment the veterans are receiving is not worthy of the treatment accorded to a living hero, who has fought for the country’s freedom with courage, honor and dignity. (PIA XI) [top]