BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance granting additional burial assistance to war veterans of the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated that it shall be the policy of the local government to give due recognition to the valiant contributions given by war veterans in times of war who are exemplars of patriotism and self-sacrifice.
Under the proposed ordinance, the burial assistance program shall be available to World War Ii veterans or Korean War veterans who are residents of the city.
Further, the ordinance provided the deceased veteran’s surviving spouse, children and nearest surviving relatives by consanguinity shall be entitled to the financial burial assistance which shall be claimed once with the local government.
Yangot proposed upon the death of a war veteran, his or her spouse shall be entitled to a financial burial assistance of P20,000, upon compliance with the requirements enshrined in the local legislative measure.
In determining the entitled heir, the ordinance stated the heirs shall be entitled to the financial burial assistance in the order that they appear in the said measure; the deceased veteran’s children or relatives cannot receive the burial assistance if the surviving spouse comes forward to claim the same and a claim by the deceased veteran’s surviving spouse shall be deemed an entitled heir only upon due presentation of their marriage certificate and if the veteran’s spouse had predeceased him, a claim by his children shall exclude claims by his relatives and among the children, priority shall be given to the child with whom the veteran last resided or to the eldest child.
To be deemed an entitled heir, the ordinance defined the filiation or relationship of the child or relative to the veteran may be proven by the presentation of birth certificates.
Yangot disclosed the entitled heir may collect the financial burial assistance only upon presentation of the death certificate to prove the fact of the veteran’s death; a certification that the deceased is a veteran as defined by the Office of the Adjutant General of the Armed Forces of the Philippines or in lieu of the same, a certificate from the appropriate post commander of the Veteran’s Federation of the Philippines of the post of which the deceased veteran belongs at the time of his death; an honourable discharge certificate or certification as pensioner from the Office of the Adjutant General; a certification from the Veteran’s Affairs Office that the deceased was receiving pension from the said office and any certification which will prove that the deceased veteran was a resident of the city for at least five years counted back from the time of his death.
The ordinance added a written claim for the financial assistance must be submitted to the City Accountant within 6 months from the death of the veteran and the City Accountant shall see to it that within 30 days, the full amount of the burial assistance is released to the entitled heir.
Yangot cited the PVO Department of Military Defense only offers a minimum amount of P20,000 as burial assistance to world war veterans in the country and the said assistance is not even commensurate to their sacrifices, thus, as an act of gratitude to the veterans, it is appropriate for the local government to grant additional burial assistance to the families of the water heroes.
By Dexter A. See