President Rodrigo Duterte announced yesterday that military retirees aged 80 years old and above as well as widows of World War II veterans may claim a total of P4.7 billion total administrative disability, which has been stalled for a few months even though it was already lined up in the 2016 budget.
“Those who were not paid by the previous administrations, actually all of them, for release is P4.7 billion for payment for the total administrative disability (TAD) arrears for widows of deceased World War II veterans and AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] retirees who are 80 years old and above,” Duterte said in a speech delivered at the Libingan ng mga Bayani for National Heroes Day.
According to the President, P3.5 billion are meant for the widows and P1.2 for the military retirees.
He added that the joint implementing rules and regulation (IRR) for the release has already been signed by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
“The amount is appropriated in the 2016 budget but not released by Aquino -- nalagay na ang pangalan niya, never mind him,” Duterte added.
Lorenzana explained that the amount has already been included in the 2016 budget. But the release was stalled likely because of the election ban.
“Okay na iyan noong time ni President [Benigno] Aquino [III] pero hindi nila na-release. Siguro naabutan sila -- kasi alam mo naman kapag may eleksyon, may ban,” he said.
Lorenzana said that the claim will be released immediately, which will be processed by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the AFP General Headquarters.