Filipino Veterans Fairness Act
February 16, 2018
Recently, US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) joined Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in introducing the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2018. The bipartisan legislation seeks to ensure that surviving Filipino World War II veterans and their family members are fully eligible for VA benefits.
War records indicate that more than 250,000 Filipinos served under the US flag in the Pacific during WWII. As citizens of a U.S. commonwealth during WWII, Sen. Schatz reported that Filipinos were promised full veterans benefits for serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. However, at the time, the Rescission Act of 1946 led to most Filipino World War II veterans not receiving benefits and mostly all Filipinos were ignored and under-recognized for their efforts during WWII.
The goal of the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2018 seeks to “fulfill the moral obligation of the United States to take care of its veterans and their families, according to Sen. Schatz.
The Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2018 is designed to 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. It would also allow Filipino veterans’ spouses and children to qualify for the same Dependency and Indemnity Compensation that current US veterans receive.