A bill proposing a more than 400% increase in disability pension rates for veterans and their beneficiaries has passed its third and final reading in the House of Representatives.
With 226 affirmative votes and zero negatives, House Bill 7203 passed its final reading and will go to the Senate for action.
Written by Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon, HB 7302 proposes to amend Republic Act 6948 or the Standardization and Enhancement of Benefits for Military Veterans and Their Beneficiaries Act.
HB 7302 refers to benefits provided to a veteran who became disabled as a result of illness, disease, injury, or injury sustained in the line of duty.
The bill fixes the disability rate by granting an increase in the base rate which will now be 4,500 pesos per month from the current 1,000 pesos.
HB 7302 also increases the monthly disability pension for spouses and each unmarried child of veterans with a service-related disability rating from 91% to 100%.
Biazon’s proposal also grants veterans without service-related disabilities a monthly pension of 1,700 pesos upon reaching age 70.
The veteran legislator noted that since 1994, the amount of disability pension granted to qualified veterans ranges from 1,000 to 1,700 pesos, depending on the degree of disability.
The amount was not adjusted “despite severe economic downturns which have effectively rendered the amount negligible and unrealistic” compared to the cost of medication, hospitalization and other basic needs for someone who has served in the service.
Biazon said the bill seeks to provide veterans with a disability pension “in recognition of their own loss of ability to engage in gainful employment due to illnesses and injuries sustained in the line of duty.”
“However, looking at the current state of the Disability Pension, it cannot be denied that the amount mandated by RA 7696 in 1994 has already lost its value in meeting even the most basic needs of disabled and aging veterans and of their beneficiaries,” said the Muntinlupa Solon pointed out.
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