(POLITIKO) Sen. Jinggoy Estrada on Tuesday called on the government to increase the monthly pension of World War II veterans, who have been receiving only P1,000 to P1,700 a month for defending the country from the Japanese invaders in the 1940s.
Estrada said the benefit that the living military veterans and their families had been receiving had remained unchanged for the past 28 years.
“Needless to say, the amount is already grossly inadequate to provide for their needs, considering the high cost of living today and the state of health they are in,” Estrada said in his sponsorship speech for Senate Bill No. 1480.
“By all metrics, the value of P1,000 in 1994 is undoubtedly much, much lower in 2022, with almost 250% price increase since,” he noted.
The war veterans, including those who joined the Philippine delegation in the Korean and Vietnam wars, are practically only getting P287 monthly due to inflation and the current cost of living, according to the senator.
Under his proposed measure, the veterans should get a minimum of P4,500 monthly disability pension and a maximum of P10,000 and P1,000 for the spouse and each unmarried minor child, respectively.
“In their twilight years, they are still fighting, albeit a different battle altogether,” Estrada said.
“It is a simple gesture of gratitude and appreciation for the invaluable service, loyalty, and gallantry of our military veterans, to whom we owe the freedom, democracy, and peace we all enjoy today,” he added.