Veterans Administration Benefits Programs in the Philippines Need Reassessment

HRD-78-26: Published: Jan 18, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 18, 1978.

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Filipino veterans, primarily of World War II, are entitled by law to pensions, educational benefits, and other compensation as American veterans. A review was undertaken to ascertain whether the Veterans Administration's benefits program should be reassessed.

In its review, GAO found that Filipino veterans receive much higher benefits because the level of income in the Philippines is lower than in the United States. The situation causes many abuses of the programs in the Philippines and payments to American veterans in the United States that are disproportionate to their Filipino counterparts.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Subcommittee on HUD and Independent Agencies of the Senate Committee on Appropriations should: reassess the benefits programs and study the alternatives to curtail program abuses and to better equate benefit payments with the prevailing level of income in the Philippines; retain the present level of benefits but do not increase them in the future; move Veterans Administration functions to the United States; change the basis used to compute benefits; and set up a trust fund or negotiate a lump-sum settlement with the Republic of the Philippines to cover costs of all remaining benefits. The subcommittee should also consider rescission of the authority which permits Filipinos to enlist in the U.S. armed forces so that they will no longer be eligible to receive benefits.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: Since a reassessment of the program will probably take considerable time, the Administrator of Veterans Affairs should take the necessary actions in the interim to ensure that paryments are being made only to eligible beneficiaries.

    Agency Affected:

 

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