Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Benefiting Philippine Veterans.

September 30, 1966

I HAVE TODAY signed H.R. 16330 and H.R. 16367, two bills dealing with Philippine veterans benefits.

When President Marcos of the Philippines visited Washington several weeks ago, I had the honor and pleasure of a frank and friendly exchange of views with him on national and international developments.

Out of these talks came a greater understanding of several issues, including the matter of benefits to Philippine veterans of World War II. I stated my strong hope that legislation dealing with this subject would be enacted quickly by Congress.

Congress responded promptly and generously and the two bills I sign today are another milestone in the continuing saga of U.S.-Philippine cooperation and friendship.

H.R. 16367 will extend the benefits of the war orphans educational assistance program to the children of those Commonwealth Army and "New" Philippine Scouts veterans who died or were permanently and totally disabled while serving with the Armed Forces of the United States. These Philippine children will be entitled to receive payments to pursue their education for up to 36 months.

The future of a nation is determined by the capabilities of its youth. I believe this bill will assist the Philippines in building a bright and promising future.

H.R. 16330 extends and enlarges the present U.S. program of hospital and medical care for Philippine veterans. The present program will be extended to June 1973. Outpatient care will be provided for "New" Philippine Scouts as well as Commonwealth Army veterans who have service-connected disabilities. Veterans with non-service-connected disabilities will now be able to get hospital care if they are unable to pay for treatment.

This bill also provides funds for one of the finest medical facilities in the Far East, the Veterans Memorial Hospital near Manila. That hospital, operated by the Government of the Philippines, was built and equipped by the United States for the benefit of Philippine veterans.

I am especially pleased with the provision of this bill which provides funds for the education and training of medical personnel and for medical research at the Memorial Hospital. This is in keeping with America's commitment to join with the Philippines in an alliance to fight disease and to improve the health standards of the people.

These two bills are the direct result of the deliberations of the Joint United States-Republic of the Philippines Commission for the Study of Philippines Veterans' Problems. I would like to express my gratitude to all the members of that Commission, especially Gen. George Decker, the Chairman of the U.S. participants, and Congressman Olin E. Teague, the Vice Chairman, who presided so ably over the proceedings during the illness of General Decker.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 16330 is Public Law 89612 (80 Stat. 859), and H.R. 16367 is Public Law 89-613 (80 Stat. 861).

For the visit of President Marcos of the Philippines, see Items 458,459, and 461.

The statement was posted on the bulletin board in the Press Room at the White House. It was not made public in the form of a White House press release.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bills Benefiting Philippine Veterans. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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