Loan sharks warned: Stay away from vets

War veterans (PVAO photo)

Senior Citizen Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol has appealed to authorities to protect war veterans from loan sharks with the the law on the P20,000 monthly pension for them taking effect soon.

“Loan sharks and other financial predators will most likely surround and approach the senior war veterans. Given their old age, they are vulnerable to usurious lenders and scammers. It is now up to government officials to protect them from the predators,” Datol, one of the principal authors of the law, said.

“Tiyak ‘kong mayroon nang maiitim na balak ang ilang may maiitim na budhi riyan ngayong lumabas na ang balita tungkol sa P20,000 monthly pension para sa mga buhay na war veterans. Gagawa at gagawa sila ng mga paraan para makabiktima ng senior veterans,” he added.

Datol’s appeal is directed at the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and local government unit officials.

The congressman said, “PVAO should ask the help of the Bangko Sentral (BSP) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are the government agencies with the mandates on financial literacy. The BSP and SEC also know the ways of the scammers and usurious lenders.”

Datol, vice chair of the House Special Committee on Senior Citizens, also said the PVAO and PhilHealth must work together to make sure all the surviving veterans get the health care benefits due them under all our laws.

“Some of the war veterans may not be aware that they are covered by PhilHealth,” he said.

Datol further asked PVAO to make sure the database and all their information on war veterans are secure and “safe from scammers using high-tech means to seek out veterans using PVAO data.”

p: wjg