press release attachment

The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Educational Benefit System Office (AFP-EBSO) held a ceremonial signing of Memorandum of Agreement and Hand-over of Fund Support worth Php 6 Million for the AFPEBS-PVAO Educational Benefit Program. The MOA signing was held on May 4, 2022 at the Conference Hall, PVAO Compound.

Implemented since 2012, the AFPEBS-PVAO Educational Benefit Program is a scholarship program for children and/or dependents of military personnel who were either Killed-in-Action (KIA) or rendered Completely Incapacitated (100% CDD). A total of 40 grantees of the program have already graduated in the SY 2020-2021 while there are 136 continuing grantees for the SY 2021-2022.

“It has been a continuing activity. And every time it happens, it provides us the opportunity to renew our partnership to respond to the educational needs of the dependents of our defenders who have gone ahead of us. This reflects our ironclad commitment to support the youth who will be the future defenders of our country,” Asec. Raul Caballes, Deputy Administrator of PVAO said in his opening remarks.

Ealier in December 2021, PVAO transferred PhP 4.0 Million to AFP-EBSO, thereby increasing the fund support for the school year 2021-2022 to a total of PhP 10.0 Million.

According to Capt Joy Dave Gabuel PN, the Chief and General Manager of the AFPEBSO, the additional fund support provided to AFPEBSO will be able to grant scholarships to additional grantees specifically the dependents of the soldiers who died in the recent C130 accident that happened in 2021.

VADM Rommel Anthony SD Reyes PN, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the AFP and the Chairperson of the AFP Morale, Welfare, Recreational Facilities and Other Business-like Instrumentalities Committee (MWRFOBI) expressed his gratitude to PVAO for its continued support to the organization. “With the growing benevolence of our partners and stakeholders, the AFPEBSO has sent the children of the killed, missing or wounded in action personnel to various reputable academic institutions all over the country. We are truly grateful to the PVAO headed by Usec. Ernesto Carolina, for being one of our devoted partners for many years now in looking after the children of our fallen comrades,” he said.

Meanwhile, PVAO Administrator, Usec. Ernesto Carolina talked about PVAO’s legislative agenda for the 19th Congress to include the dependents of KIA and totally disabled soldiers and veterans in the list of PVAO scholars to ensure adequate benefits for them until they finish their studies. He also mentioned the importance of the AFP-EBSO’s educational programs and PVAO’s full support in the commitment of AFP-EBSO to “leave no soldier’s orphan behind.”

“We would like to view this program with the Armed Forces from a holistic perspective and not on a transactional basis. Our goal is to be able to sustain a scholarship program that adequately covers the demand and sufficiently supports the needs of the scholars,” Usec. Carolina proposed.

He noted the need to review the educational benefit program for the sake of the soldiers and their dependents. “So we can honestly say that we have done our duty of reassuring our soldiers who died in combat and made the supreme sacrifice— [that] we have secured the future of their children,” Usec. Carolina said as he concluded his remarks.