He propped himself with a cane, breathing heavily from apparent exhaustion. At 95, Celestino Almeda valiantly works to remain visible – braving heat, sleet and snow – to remind the
But the US indicated it was also caring for the aging Filipino World War II veterans in other ways, pouring in $192 million (about P8 billion) in disability benefits for about 8,000 Filipino veterans or their family members this year.
President Obama signed in 2009 the stimulus package that contained the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC), providing a one-time lump sum payment ($15,000 for those in the
Paying the money – meant to make up for an injustice when Filipinos who served under the US Commonwealth Army and American-led guerilla forces during World War II were arbitrarily stripped of their benefits in the 1946 Rescission Law – is predicated on fulfilling stringent requirements.
Almeda, who earned American citizenship in 1996 by being a “bona-fide”
His tone turns sad, “That was 8 months ago now. I have not heard anything about it. I don’t know what will happen now.”
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Manila reported that last year, the Department of Veterans Administration in Manila disbursed $187 million in compensation and pension payments; $15 million FVEC payments; nearly $11 million for medical services; and over $2 million for education and vocational programs.