War veterans in Bacolod City reiterated their request for the city government to increase their allowances and to include post World War II veterans, yesterday.
They issued the call during the Araw ng Kagitingan celebration of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, with the theme: "76th year of Valor: Honoring the Veterans towards a Nation Worthy of Filipinos, Filipinos Worthy of the Nation".
The 76th Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), which commemorates both the fall of Bataan (April 9, 1942) and the fall of Corregidor (May 6, 1942), was held at the Monument of Unknown Soldier at the Bacolod City Public Plaza yesterday where officials of the city and war veterans laid wreaths to honor World War II heroes.
Jerson Juarez, president of the Federation of War Veterans-Bacolod, said that every year they have been asking for an increase in their allowance, and also seeking the inclusion of post war veterans. A grateful nation always rewards its heroes who have sacrificed their lives to help the nation gain its freedom, he said.
Bacolod Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran said “The essence of the commemoration of Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) is to remind us of the heroic act of our forefathers or ancestors and of their courage and bravery in defending Bataan and Corregidor.”
Familiaran said he believes that students should alsobe required to attend the commemoration so they will to know their history and help encourage the youth to unite as one.
“If we work as one, adversities in life will be lighter and problems will be easier to solve,” he said.
Meanwhile, Familiaran said the city only gives allowances to living war veterans and their beneficiaries and he believes this is not the right venue to air their grievances.
Familiaran said that while the city is considering their request, this will need legislation. He also requested the war veterans to submit their petition to Congress.
He also cited, for example, a proposed ordinance giving allowances to retired police personnel.
If approved, he believes retired teachers and employees will also ask for allowances, and where will the city get the budget? he asked.
Familiaran said war veterans are receiving P1,000 from the city every quarter.
Bacolod City allocates about P2 million annually for its war veterans and their spouses.
The occasion was attended by the members of the 303rd Infantry Brigade led by Lt. Col. Antonio Tomnog, Councilor Bart Orola, executive assistant Butch Soliguen, Bacolod South District president Edwin Recabe, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office-Bacolod head Thaddeus Balayo, Social Services Office head Pacita Tero, living war veterans and their spouses, and government employees.*CGS
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