WASHINGTON, DC; SAN MATEO, CA – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo counties) will introduce the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act on Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Washington, DC, and hold a press conference about the bill introduction on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 1 p.m. at the Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center in Daly City. She will be joined by Filipino veterans and their families.

“We must make good on a promise we broke half a century ago,” said Speier. “These war heroes helped the United States win World War II and deserve the benefits the U.S. government solemnly vowed they would receive. We are running out of time as the few remaining veterans are now in their eighties and nineties. Let’s finally right this wrong!”

During World War II, 200,000 Filipinos volunteered to fight alongside American troops. They were citizens of a commonwealth of the U.S. before and during the war and President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised them the same benefits afforded to U.S. Armed Forces. However, in 1946 Congress passed the Rescission Act and stripped many Filipinos of the benefits. Of the 66 countries allied with the U.S., only Filipino veterans were denied benefits.

Today, Filipino veterans are dying at the rate of ten per day and their average age is 85. They, their spouses, and their dependents have never received benefits commensurate with their heroic sacrifices. There are an estimated 15,000 living Filipino veterans of World War II.

The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act would eliminate the distinction between the Regular or "Old" Philippine Scouts and the other three groups of veterans—Commonwealth Army of the Philippines, Recognized Guerrilla Forces, and New Philippine Scouts. Veterans that have received lump sum payments will be eligible for benefits. Widows and children of Filipino veterans would be eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation just like any other veteran.

Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Filipino veterans and their families

Press conference on Filipino Veterans Fairness Act introduction

Saturday, June 13, 2015
1 – 2 pm          

Pilipino Bayanihan Resource Center
2121 Junipero Serra Blvd
Daly City