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Feature: Long overdue benefits for Filvets among top priorities of Arroyo administration

Tacloban City (24 February) -- The US government's move to give the long overdue benefits for Filipino veterans had always been among the top foreign policy initiatives of the Arroyo administration.

With the passage of the bill containing provisions on Filipino veterans, the United States honors its promise to the Philippines, one of its staunchest allies, to grant the long-sought benefits due the Filipino WWII veterans.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was passed by the US Congress on Feb. 14 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17 as part of the US government stimulus package, grants a one-time lump-sum payment of $15,000 for each US-based Filipino WWII veteran and $9,000 for those living in the Philippines.

The President has cited US lawmakers for correcting a "historic wrong" by incorporating the lump-sum benefits for Filipino veterans in US stimulus bill.

Despite America's economic challenges, the US Congress voted to correct a historic wrong and incorporate the lump-sum benefit for our veterans. It is fitting that they honored the past as they build for the future," the President has said.

Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Filipino veterans will celebrate today in Malacaņang the inclusion of $198 million lump-sum benefits for Filvets who fought alongside American forces in World War II.

During the celebration at Malacaņang's Heroes Hall, US Amb. Kristie Kenny will present a signed copy of the US Stimulus Law (pertaining to Filipino veterans benefits).. The President, in turn, will present the signed copy to one of the Filipino veterans. (PIA Southern Leyte/esg) [top]

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