Sunday, September 6, 2009

US rejects benefits claims of 1,000 Pinoys

The United States government has rejected the applications of 1,000 Filipino World War II veterans seeking benefits under the US stimulus package law, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said Thursday.

Teodoro said the applications were rejected because the applicants had failed to show sufficient proof that they fought with US troops in the last World War.

“One thousand (applications) were denied…Their affiliation or proof of service was unsubstantiated, you know you need some proof,” the defense chief said at the sidelines of an assembly of World War II veterans in Camp Aguinaldo.

The US Veterans Affairs Office began accepting application of Filipino World War II veterans, including those who are already US citizens, in February following the passage of the US Stimulus Package Law that provide benefits for the veterans.

The law provides a compensation of $15,000 for veterans who are US citizens and $9,000 for non-US citizens. Veterans have until February next year to file their applications.

At the same time, Teodoro revealed that the US has also approved the applications of about 4,000 veterans, both based in US and in the Philippines. He said the veterans have already received their checks.

Also, he said that the US is still in the process of evaluating 7,000 other applications. “There is 7,000 more in the pipeline…Its being processed at the time we were there,” said Teodoro, referring to last month’s visit of President Arroyo to US.

Teodoro said about 34,000 had so far filed their claim and they expect about 20,000 or so applications until February next year.

The defense chief is scheduled to fly to the US next week to meet with US veterans affairs secretary Eric Shinseki and check on the processing of the applications.

During his visit, Teodoro will also meet with his US counterpart, US defense secretary Robert Gates, “to discuss our counter- terrorism cooperation.” Gates paid Teodoro a visit at Camp Aguinaldo last June.

What will happen to our 1,000 Filipino veterans rejected their application to claim their benefits? Hope our Defense Secretary will help our veterans and hope the American goverment will hear the voices of the Filipino veterans.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea any non citizen received a stimulus package. I suppose I just never thought about it? They fought with and for us, thats pretty special.

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