Secretary Shinseki Meets with Philippine President Arroyo
WASHINGTON (July 31, 2009) - The status of benefits to Filipino Veterans
of World War II was a prime topic recently when Secretary of Veterans
Affairs Eric K. Shinseki met with Philippine President Gloria
"VA has long-standing ties to the Philippines, with many U.S. Veterans
living in the islands," Secretary Shinseki said. "Our partnership with
the Philippine government enables us to ensure these Veterans receive
the benefits they have earned."
The partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the
Philippine government was recently enhanced when VA implemented a law
granting a cash payment to Filipino Veterans who aided American troops
in World War II. The payments came through the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act, which authorized $198 million for one-time payments.
Under the provision, VA is paying claims of $9,000 for non-U.S. citizens
and $15,000 for Filipino Veterans who are U.S. citizens. VA's Manila
Regional Office has received more than 25,000 claims and has paid out
approximately $56 million so far.
Shinseki expressed his appreciation to Arroyo for the support her
government's Philippine Veterans Affairs Office gave to VA's Manila
office in their joint outreach to eligible Veterans in the weeks
following the law's passage earlier this year.
VA recently donated a new $800,000 CT scan machine to the Philippine
government's Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City. The
donation is one in a series of medical equipment donations and facility
upgrades worth $5.5 million since 2003 that the U.S. Government has made
to the medical center.