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P3,000 pension for comfort women sought

Former senator now Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano is batting for a monthly P3,000 pension and free full medical insurance for Filipino comfort women.

“The so-called Filipino comfort women suffered tremendously during their ordeal in the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army. They suffered more when they courageously came out in the open to tell the whole world about the dastardly acts committed against them,” Cayetano said.

“However, the government chose to remain silent about their plight and simply waited for the sought-after recognition and compensation from the Japanese government, a foreign state over which we have neither influence or control,” she said in filing House Bill 1182.

Under her proposed Comfort Women Compensation and Benefit Act, she mandates the Philhealth and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office to provide free full medical insurance and monthly pension to comfort women, respectively.

She tasks the National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women to determine the authenticity of the claims and identities of comfort women with assistance of the various accredited cause-oriented women’s groups.

Under the bill, applications for the compensation and benefits must be filed within two years from the effectivity of the proposed act.

HB 1182 provides that the Department of Social Welfare and Development shall formulate a program for the proper counseling and guidance of the comfort women, taking into consideration not only their ordeal in the hands of the Japanese Occupational Army, but more so the pain and suffering of retelling them in public.