The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) held a Joint Dialogue Engagement with veterans of Cagayan on 10 November 2022 at Mango Suites Hotel, Tuguegarao City. PVAO Administrator, Undersecretary Reynaldo B. Mapagu led the event, in coordination with the VFP, headed by its Executive Vice President, Gen. Romeo D. Alamillo, to address the concerns of the veterans in the region.
During the program, Ms. Joanne Jomalesa, Senior Veterans Assistance Officer of PVAO, discussed the non-pension benefits of the veterans, highlighting the Veterans Hospitalization and Medical Care Program (VHMCP) and the proper process and requirements needed for a successful reimbursement of medical expenses.
Moreover, Atty. Rolando Villaflor, Head of the PVAO Legal Affairs Division, gave a brief update about the bills that PVAO continues to lobby in the Senate and Congress, particularly the Senate Bill 700 or the 3,000-increase of pension benefits for war veterans and the House Bill 4870 or the Establishment of the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
The veterans who attended the dialogue also expressed their high hopes for the establishment of a veterans hospital in Northern Luzon especially in the province of Cagayan. Despite the enormous budgetary and logistical requirements, USec. Mapagu assured the veterans that this is among the priorities of the current administration.
PVAO also discussed about the efforts of the agency to establish several veterans wards all over the Philippines in partnership with excellent tertiary hospitals in different provinces, including the Cagayan Valley Medical Center which is already being built and will be launched soon. The program aims to bring adequate hospitalization assistance for the veterans especially those who come from the provinces.
Meanwhile, Usec. Mapagu is thankful to the veterans community for raising their concerns and giving their feedback about the services of PVAO to deliver better services to the veterans.
“Kailangan makarating rin sa amin kung may hinaing kayo, may reklamo kayo so that we can correct ourselves and improve our performance (It is necessary for your concerns and complaints to reach us, so that we can correct ourselves and improve our performance),” he said.