The newly-inducted members of the Multi-Sector Governance Council (MSGC) have vowed to support the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) in advancing its advocacy to improve the welfare of the country’s veterans, as embodied in its Kagitingan Roadmap 2022 Strategic Plan.
The MSGC members were formally inducted by Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin at the EDSA People Power Lounge of the
. Quezon City
They were identified as retired MGen. Jose P. Magno, chairman of the CITRA Metro Manila Railways, who was voted as chairperson; Prof. Ma. Bernadette L. Abrera, chairperson of the Department of History at University of the Philippines-Diliman; Magdalo Party- list Rep. Ashley Acedillo; retired Philippine Navy Admiral Vicente M. Agdamag, Deputy National Security Adviser of the National Security Council Secretariat; Dr. Fermin R. De Leon, president of the National Defense College of the Philippines; Gov. Albert S. Garcia of the province of Bataan; former Senator and National Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado; former Internal Revenue and Customs Commissioner Guillermo L. Parayno Jr., vice chairman of the Philippine Veterans Bank; retired Police Director Gen. Umberto A. Rodriguez, president of the Filipino War Veterans Foundation Inc. (FILVETS); and Rep. Herminia P. Roman, chairperson of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Welfare.
The other two members who were not able to attend the event are journalist Jarius Bondoc and Dr. Francisco T. Duque III, former Secretary of the Department of Health and Chairman of the Civil Service Commission.
Undersecretary Ernesto G. Carolina, incumbent PVAO Administrator, was also included in the Council and was voted as vice chairperson. He vowed to uphold the ideals of good governance as embodied in the Performance Governance System and to share their time and expertise in helping PVAO foster a strong and unified Filipino Veterans Community serving as reliable partner in nation-building.
They also pledged to promote the value of kagitingan by championing the Kagitingan Roadmap 2022 within their respective sectors, and to involve other sectors of society by helping PVAO forge and nurture partnerships in serving the veterans, the future veterans, and the country.
“The challenge of governance, when the stakes are as high as the welfare of the veterans who had risked and sometimes lost their life and limb, and as far reaching as the preparation of our youth as this country’s future defenders, has compelled us to seek your advice and guidance in helping us pursue our vision of a strong and unified Filipino Veterans Community that is reliable in nation-building,” Carolina said.
Meanwhile, Gazmin lauded PVAO for its early gains in the implementation of reforms.
“In the preceding five years, we saw the vigorous effort of PVAO in the institution of measures to genuinely serve the interest of our veterans. Among many others, PVAO has cleansed the veterans’ list of pseudo claimants, thereby generating savings," he added.
PVAO also has engaged in an anti-fraud and in an anti-corruption campaign and instituted full proof measures to rid the agency of fixers, fraudulent claimants, and corrupt employees.
It has strengthened the Veterans Federation of the
"It is also commendable that PVAO has been a recipient of ISO Certification 9001:2008 from third party certifying bodies for sustained reduction of adjudication time for pension claims and processing time for delivery of pensions,” Gazmin added.
After the induction ceremony, the MSGC held its first organizational meeting.
Retired Philippine Marines Col. Omar Tonsay, chief of PVAO Planning and Management Division, gave a briefing on Kagitingan Roadmap 2022 and how PVAO hopes to implement the same through the virtue of kagitingan.
The Kagitingan Roadmap reflects PVAO goals to transform the veterans from being merely dependent clients to empowered partners; to transform veterans’ organizations from being self-centered, factionalized and marginalized to being united and empowered; to transform underutilized veterans assets and properties to being optimized and the benefits derived from them equitably shared; to transform shrines and memorials to instruments that instill national pride and patriotism; to make commemorative events pervasive and community-based; to rationalize pensions and benefits structure, and to ensure veterans’ overall welfare and well-being.
With the Roadmap, PVAO envisions a strong and unified Filipino veterans community serving as a reliable partner in nation-building.
It will guide PVAO to better fulfill its mandate, leading to the path where the ideals of kagitingan are exemplified in order to bring back kagitingan, or love for country, in its deserved place in the nation’s value system.