Press Release
April 8, 2010

Villar admin to settle gov't debts with war vets, AFP pensioners

A Villar administration will settle all government arrears with veterans and military pensioners.

"The way to honor their sacrifices is to honor our debts to them," Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Manny Villar said yesterday.

According to Villar, one estimate puts at a minimum P10 billion the government's unsettled obligations with former members of the armed services.

He said that one of the first things that will be done in the first 100 days of a Villar presidency is to compute the outstanding dues and come up with a payment schedule.

"We will recognize the debt and plot out how to amortize it based on projected revenue flows in the coming years," Villar said.

He said it will be difficult to wipe out all state obligations in one year as the government has to attend to pressing funding concerns.

"That is why we will ask for our veterans' understanding and support for a programmed reduction of our obligations," he said.

"The first budget that we will send to Congress will contain an amount that will represent the first installment of our payment. The bottom line is that there will be no official amnesia when it comes to our arrears to our veterans," the former Senate President said.

To accompany the recognition of these debts are moves to improve support services to former servicemen, according to Villar.

"Although pension is at the core of their welfare, we will also improve the menu of services they are entitled to," he said.

The Veterans Medical Center will be upgraded and slots for dependents of veterans and military pensioners in state colleges will be expanded.

Those who have given the best years of their lives in the service of the Republic will be taken care of in their sunset years," he said.

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