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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 27, 2000


Today, I am directing the Department of Veterans Affairs to produce a study on the needs of Filipino veterans who served with the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. I have asked that the study provide specific options on how our Veterans Affairs' health care system can address the needs of these Filipino veterans now living in the United States.

During World War II, Filipino nationals were called into military service by Executive Order of the President and fought valiantly under U.S. command to help achieve peace and freedom in the Pacific. After the war, the United States made grants to the Philippine government to provide for the needs of these veterans. In addition, some are eligible for benefits under the United States veterans system. However, many of these deserving veterans living in the United States are currently not eligible for such benefits.

For several years, my Administration has worked with Members of Congress such as Representatives Bob Filner and Patsy Mink to recognize the contributions of Filipino veterans and to improve the compensation and benefits of those living in the United States. As this population ages, it has a growing need for quality health care. That is why I am asking the Department of Veterans Affairs to look at ways we can address their needs. I look forward to the Department's recommendations. I am eager to find a way to fulfill the needs of this deserving group of veterans.