FELICIANO F. MIRAVITE HONORED ALONGSIDE APOLINARIO MABINI IN EXHIBIT
AT ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES (AFP) MUSEUM
TRIBUTE TO "DIFFERENTLY-ABLED SOLDIERS AND VETERANS"
Formal opening ceremony of exhibit showcasing Apolinario Mabini, Feliciano Miravite
and their respective efforts in giving service to their fellow countrymen even after their
military service and incurring physical disabilities. (July 22, 2009, PVAO Photo)
Philippine Veterans Affairs Office
News & Events, July 23, 2009
"The good thing here is that the disabled veterans whom we are paying homage to through this exhibit have shown that veterans can continue to serve the country even after their military service with or without disability," Defense Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina said during the Formal Opening Ceremony of Giving Tribute to a Disabled Revolutionary Hero and Military Personnel at the AFP Museum on July 22, 2009.
The exhibit showcasing Apolinario Mabini, Feliciano Miravite and their respective efforts in giving service to their fellow countrymen even after their military service and incurring physical disabilities is in line with the celebration of the 31st year of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week with this year's theme: "Tungo sa Katuparan ng Karapatan ng mga May Kapansanan." Leaders and chairpersons of different agencies supporting the welfare of both active and retired military personnel that were invited to speak during the ceremony have expressed their collective desire to uplift and improve the current situation of physically handicapped and wounded soldiers and veterans.
"It's not with what you lost but with what is left," National Council on Disability Affairs Chairperson Rose Romulo said in uplifting the emotional strength and confidence of the disabled soldiers. This was seconded by AFP Chief of Staff General Victor Ibrado, "hindi kailanman kayang putulin ng pisikal na kapansanan ang mga pangarap para sa pamilya at sa bayan (never could a physical limitation stop one from hoping and dreaming for his or her family and country)."
USec. Carolina, concurrent Administrator of Philippine Veterans Affairs Office invited the PVAO officers and employees to draw inspiration from the said event to further work on the holistic rehabilitation of the differently-abled (to use a more politically correct term) veterans. "PVAO as an organization must learn to look beyond pension payments and more towards helping our disabled veterans earn their own living," he added.
AFP Museum at Camp Aguinaldo (July 22, 2009, PVAO Photo)
PVAO currently manages the pension benefits of around 240,000 veterans-clients nationwide inclusive of some 14,847 disability pensioners but recognizes the fact that a lot is still to be done. More satisfying long-term benefits for the veterans are what the agency is seeking. And with the help of other government agencies and non-government organizations, these may be realized in the near future.