The Senate has passed on third and final reading a bill that would amend the chapter of the Philippine Veterans Bank to ensure its financial viability and expand its beneficiaries.
Voting 23-0-0, members of the upper chamber on Monday, September 13, approved Senate Bill No. 2368, which repeals the 58-year-old Republic Act No. 3518 that created the Philippine Veterans Bank.
“I’d like to thank our dear colleagues for approving this very important measure, that’s warranted to have been passed a long time ago,” said Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies.
“Para mabiyayaan ng Veterans Bank, hindi lamang hanggang World War 2 veterans kundi ‘yong mga hanggang ngayon na lumalaban pa rin para sa ating kaligtasan at para sa ating bayan (So that the Veterans Bank can benefits not only World War II veterans but also those who are still fighting for our security and our country),” she added.
Poe earlier said that bill would revise the bank’s charter to secure its viability, providing for an increase in the bank’s capitalization from P100 million to P10 billion.
The bill realigns the bank’s internal structure and powers according to the Revised Corporation Code, General Banking Act, and other pertinent laws and regulations.
Aside from the capitalization, SB 2368 also seeks to “provide immediate and adequate benefits and other forms of assistance to all Filipino war veterans and the retired military personnel, including their surviving spouses, orphans, and compulsory heirs”.
Post-World War 2 veterans and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) retirees shall also enjoy benefits and privileges in investing in the Veterans Bank.
To assist the bank in raising capital while also ensuring that veterans will remain in control, Poe said the previous 20-share limitation for each veteran or dependent would be lifted and shares are now open to non-veterans, provided that the majority of both common and preferred shares still belong to veterans.
“The thrust of the bank is to promote the welfare of the veterans, which is why we need to make sure that the money meant for them is well-accounted for,” Poe said in sponsoring the bill last September 2.