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08/09/2009: Defense Secretary Teodoro Pushes for Prompt Processing of Filvets Benefits; Receives US$ 1M in Hospital Equipment for Veterans

08 September 2009 Washington, D.C. – In a meeting with U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) in Washington D.C., Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro received from Secretary Shinseki a commitment to speed up the processing of claims of Filipino WWII veterans under the $198-million lump sum package provided for in the US Stimulus Package.

As of September 1, 2009, the DVA said that of the total 31,876 claims it has received, 8,900 applications has been processed. Out of the total number of applications processed, over US$77 million has been awarded to eligible Filipino Veterans broken down as follows: 3,138 Filipino veterans with US citizenship received US$15,000 each, while 3,414 non-US citizen Filipino veterans received US$ 9,000 each.

Secretary Teodoro conveyed the Philippine government’s appreciation for continuing US support for the veterans’ war claims. Secretary Shinseki reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to facilitate record verification procedures and the payment of claims.

Secretary Shinseki also told Secretary Teodoro the DVA plans to embark on an extensive outreach program for WW II Veterans throughout the Philippines to meet the deadline for the submission of documentary requirements of claims set February 16, 2010, a year after the signing of the Stimulus Bill.

During the meeting, Secretary Teodoro also thanked Shinseki for the DVA’s grant-in-aid to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) amounting to US$5.5M since 2003, inclusive of the MRI equipment amounting to US$1M, the delivery of which will be completed by next year.

Secretary Shinseki also accepted Secretary Teodoro’s offer for the conduct of a joint DND-DVA assessment of Veterans Memorial Medical Center’s existing capabilities under the Philippine Defense Reform program in order to institutionalize best practices in providing medical care and services and transform the VMMC into a model medical institution in the Philippines. END.