NAGA CITY, Apr. 17 (PIA) -- A stipend amounting to P5,000 will be given to every surviving veteran of the Philippine-American War, World War II, and the Korean Campaign during every Naga City Veterans Day and Araw ng Kagitingan as this city government’s recognition for their bravery and valor in defending the country’s freedom.

Mayor John Bongat recently signed Ordinance No. 2016-042 following approval of the Sangguniang Panglungsod, headed by Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion, which grants a stipend of P5,000 to every Nagueno veteran.  The Ordinace was authored city Councilors Gregorio Abonal, Cecilia Veluz-De Asis, Salvador Del Castillo, and Jose Raῆola, M.D.

Bongat gladly announced the good news during the commemoration of the 75th National Day of Valor and Philippine Veteran’s Week celebration held April 10 at the Monument of Unknown Soldier, City Hall Grounds here participated in by 15 out of the 21 surviving war veterans of the city who were all emotional when they received their stipend, making this year’s celebration very historic.

Bongat, together with Legacion and the principal authors of the ordinance, personally handed the cash benefit to the war veterans who attended the celebration. In his message,

Bongat said that this is one way of showing that the City Government of Naga cares and is grateful for the veterans for their patriotic deeds and unselfish service during the war and for continuously upholding freedom and democracy.

The stipend, he added will somehow give them a little consolation and happiness.

“The benefit is there and we added more. I do not take credit for that. We only suggested, but the ultimate credit should go to the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor Nelson Legacion and the city government of Naga. Together, we really made it a point that we provide something every year. We know the amount is small, but it’s not the amount that counts, it’s a way of showing our sincere gratitude to them and to their family,” Bongat elaborated.

War veteran Salvador G. Cajot, District Commander of the Philippine Veteran’s Federation expressed his gratitude and elation for the additional benefit as it will help in the purchase of his medicines for the daily maintenance of his health.

“During World War II, most of us got sick, so all of us are taking maintenance medicines. Sometimes, some veterans who only depends on the P6,700.00 yearly pension cannot meet ends as they still share it with their sons and daughters or even grandchild. That’s where the problem comes,” Cajot lamented.

Yet with the additional stipend, Cajot is thankful for the timing since most of the prices of medicines have already increased. (LSM/JRM-PIA5/Camarines Sur)