Veterans bat for lower age qualification for pensioners

By Minerva BC Newman 

CEBU CITY – The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) is backing a proposal to lower the age qualification for pension ap­plicants from 65 to 60 years old.


The proposal was aired by military veterans groups during a forum at Camp Lapu Lapu here last Tuesday.

More than 150 veterans at­tended the forum.

Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP7) Vice Oresi­dent Rodulfo Bumaat said that because the life expectancy of Filipinos is 68, the age qualifica­tion for pensioners must be 60 so they can enjoy the benefits due them longer.

“Hopefully they will reduce to 60 years for the old-age pension because 65 is too old,” Bumaat said.

Cebu Armed Forces of the Philippines Retired Veterans Association (CAFPREVA) Presi­dent Romeo Ambut said lowering the age requirement for pension­ers will not be easy because the age qualification of 65 is man­dated by Republic Act 6948, or the Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents Act.

Ambut said they are going to suggest that every veterans or­ganization in the country submit a position paper to PVAO on the age qualification issue.

The PVAO head for Cen­tral Visayas, Reggie Sabandal, backed the veterans’ cause, add­ing that as soon as she receives the necessary papers from the different veterans’ associations in the region, she will refer them to the PVAO administra­tion.

Bumaat said the veterans groups are also asking for a 2.5-percent increase in the veterans’ monthly pension.

The forum also discussed que­ries from the veterans regarding assistance in availing of medical and hospitalization benefits.

Sabandal said veterans have to pay for hospitalization and medicines, after which they will be reimbursed by PVAO.