Lorenzana vows to expand medical benefits of veterans

Published November 24, 2018, 5:51 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Aaron Recuenco

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana vowed Saturday to expand the medical benefits of the retired soldiers that include more free medicines and even a veteran’s ward in some of the government hospitals.

Senator Panfilo Lacson leads the Senate Finance Subcommittee “E” in scrutinizing the P251 billion proposed 2019 budget of the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agencies presented by Sec. Delfin Lorenzana. Also in attendance during Tuesday’s hearing, Oct. 2, 2018 are (L-R) Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Win Gatchalian, Gregorio Honasan and JV Ejercito. (Photo: Joseph Vidal/PRIB)
(Photo: Joseph Vidal/PRIB)

Lorenzana said the veterans’ main hospital for instance, the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), is already replete with funds following the declaration of President Duterte to give P50 million every month to the hospital in Quezon City.

“Our veterans will no longer be given prescription. They will be given medicines,” Lorenzana said during the 77th Veterans Federation of the Philippines Supreme Council Meeting held in Quezon City.

With the VMMC now abundant with funds, the official said they are hoping that they would be able to transform the veterans’ hospital into a first class medical facility.

But the medical benefits plans are not only limited to those seeking medical intervention at the VMMC but also includes those who live in the provinces.

Lorenzana said the initial plan was to put up another hospital for veterans but since the plan would entail multi-billion funds, he said they are now eyeing to put up veterans’ wards in government hospitals in the provinces.

“The suggestion is to put veterans ward, heroes ward in the provincial hospitals under the Department of Health so that every time a veteran would go there, there will be doctors who would attend to them,” Lorenzana said.

In order to maximize further the fund of the VFP, Lorenzana said they are eyeing the lease of a golf course owned by the VFP in order to find more funds for the medical and hospitalization expenses of the veterans.