A group of World War II Veterans waves Philippine flag. Photo credit to Michael Macor, The Chronicle
This week marks the nation’s annual commemoration to honor the heroism of Filipino war veterans who gallantly fought and gave their lives during the Second World War, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as various insurgency campaigns in the country.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Ika-75 Taon: Parangal sa mga Beterano Tungo sa Bayan na Nararapat sa Pilipino, Pilipino na Nararapat sa Bayan”. The celebration promotes and preserves the ideals and deeds of the Filipino war veterans as a means to enhance patriotism and love of country, especially among the Filipino youth.
The week-long celebration started on April 5 with the Sunrise Ceremony at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB). This gathering pays homage to fallen soldiers and patriots with flowers offered before the LNMB. Surviving brothers-at-arms of heroes, their families and youth symbolically meet at the ceremony to show gratitude for the sacrifice that veterans afforded all Filipinos with –the promise of a new day to make new beginnings.
A series of commemorative events will also be held to honor the veterans and manifest the nation’s collective gratitude and appreciation for their selfless sacrifices for the country.
The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) supports the observance of this celebration and the initiatives that uplift the welfare and well-being of the veterans and their families. The CFO spearheaded the formulation of the implementing guidelines on the availment of awards and incentives by overseas Filipino Centenarians. Qualified overseas Filipino Centenarians, including WWII veterans who are 100 years old and up, are entitled to receive a set of awards and incentives from both the national and local governments.
In addition, the Commission in the past had spearheaded lobby efforts for the grant of full equity to Filipino WWII veterans by amending the 1946 US Rescission Act that stripped away rights, privileges and benefits for Filipinos who fought under the USAFFE (US Armed forces in the Far East). It also released a special publication in 2010 to highlight the plight of Filipino WWII veterans. Entitled “The Forgotten Soldiers”, it chronicled the six decade request for recognition and equity by our veterans. The publication is available at www.cfo.gov.ph.
For more information regarding this press release, please contact:
Commission on Filipinos Overseas
Contact Person: Ms. Patricia Marie Salvador
Telephone Numbers: (632) 552-4760
Facsimile Number: (632) 561-8327