LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator Gen. Ernesto Carolina and Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. led the inauguration and blessing of the PVAO Field Service Extension Office held here recently.
Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, Gen. Carolina and Gov. Espino signed the Deed of Usufruct, at the Governor’s Office, followed by a press conference with the local media.
The Deed of Usufruct signed by both parties from the provincial government and the PVAO grants the right to use a portion of a lot at the Capitol Complex for the construction of the PVAO Field Service Extension Office.
Carolina expressed elation that the signing happened today, 2015, which is the 70th year of the liberation of the Philippines citing that Lingayen has a major role in the history of the country’s liberation.
He likewise thanked the provincial government and Gov. Espino for the very gracious act of granting a field service extension office for the veterans here and the region.
The new extension office for the Pangasinan war veterans will provide an adequate space for PVAO staff and to accommodate members of their family during their visits, as according to Gen. Carolina, Pangasinan and Region 1 has the most number of veterans.
The PVAO administrator even noted that the three ‘Bs’ (bangus, bocayo and bagoong) that made Pangasinan a very famous province should have another B which will stand for “Bayani or Beterano.”
Gov. Espino, on the other hand, was equally proud to have done something for the war veterans and the retirees, being also a former soldier.
The governor likewise noted that he was the one who was tasked to spearhead the construction of the Veterans’ Park which was inaugurated in 1995.
Meanwhile, the veterans will have something to look forward to after Gen. Carolina disclosed that the PVAO has filed recommendations for the increase of the veterans’ old age pension from P5, 000 to P10, 000. However, for WW II veterans, Carolina said they are batting for an increase from P5, 000 to P20, 000 as their number has slowly dwindled.
The PVAO has also asked for an increase on their disability pension from P1,700 to P10, 000. Burial assistance has been increased from P10, 000 to P20, 000.
The PVAO has also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the government hospitals to enable veterans to avail of medical benefits
Gen. Espina further added that building hospitals for the veterans is also among their agenda.
By Dexter A. See