PANGASINAN HONORS WORLD WAR II VETERANS
Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III (left) and 2nd district of Maguindanao Representative Zajid Mangudadatu (second from left) and other officials led the wreath-laying ceremony at the Veterans Park in Lingayen Pangasinan on Wednesday.
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- The provincial government once again honored the World War II veterans of Pangasinan through a commemorative program and a medical mission for them and their family members during the 74th Lingayen Gulf Landings and 12th Pangasinan Veterans’ Day on Wednesday.
The program, which was attended by the living veterans and their family members including families of deceased veterans, was led by Governor Amado Espino III along with the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members and other officials.
In his speech, Espino emphasized the importance of honoring the veterans while they were still living as their number decrease each year.
Espino also expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all the veterans and their families.
“Salamat sa inyong sakripisyo at pag-aalay ninyo ng inyong buhay (Thank you for your sacrifices and for offering your lives),” he said.
Representative Zajid Mangudadatu of the 2nd district of Maguindanao, in his speech as the guest of honor and speaker, also thanked the war veterans and donated PHP200,000 for the medical expenses of the living Pangasinense war veterans.
Meanwhile, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office administrator, retired Lt. Gen. Ernesto Carolino, said the law increasing the pension of war veterans from PHP5,000 to PHP20,000 was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last week.
“We are just waiting for the Republic Act before it would be implemented, but surely it will be this January 2019 since the budget for it was part of this year’s General Appropriation Act,” he said.
Carolino noted at least 300 war veterans die every month and pneumonia is the most common cause of their death.
“Habang nandyan pa sila, ‘di lang natin sila papasayahin kundi i-maximize din sila to inspire the youths who will be the future veterans of this nation (While they are still there, we will not only make them happy, but also maximize them to inspire the youths who will be the future veterans of this nation),” he said.
Carolino also disclosed their plan to increase the budget for the veterans’ pension to PHP300 million by 2020 “to ensure that no veteran will pay for his own medicine”. (PNA)
Photo from Provincial Government of Pangasinan's official Facebook page/PNA