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                        1925 McArthur Highway, Balibago, Angeles City, Philippines 2009

                                               Tel No.: (6345) 888-2748/625-5522

                                   Office Hours: 0930-1330 (Mon.-Fri.); 0930-1200 (Sat.)

                           After Office Hours – Emergencies Only Text: +639279121804

                                           After Office Hours Fax: (6345) 888-5079

                                                 E-Mail:  rao_cabr@mozcom.com

                            Web Site:  http://1925rao.wixsite.com/raoangelescity

 Go to our website and click Google Map: Rao Macarthur Highway, Angeles City, Philippines

SECTION II

RETIREE COMMUNITY (AMERICAN) NEWSLETTER

PERMANENT DATA:  CHANGES ARE INDICATED BY AN ASTERISK (*) ABOVE THE SUBJECT...

DISCLAIMER:  ADS IN THIS PUBLICATION ARE PUBLISHED AS A SERVICE TO OUR READERS.... THEIR PUBLICATION DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AIR FORCE OR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ENDORSEMENT OF THE PRODUCTS OR SERVICE....

 

RAO:  WE WOULD LIKE FOR EVERY MILITARY RETIREE, DEPENDENT, WIDOW(ER), ACTIVE DUTY OR OTHER AMERICANS TO KNOW THAT YOU CAN  RECEIVE ASSISTANCE AT OUR OFFICE...  WE DON'T HAVE MONEY; HOWEVER, WE CAN HELP OR KNOW PEOPLE WHO CAN…  AS AREA  U.S. EMBASSY WARDEN AND RAO DIRECTOR, MOST PROBLEMS CAN BE ESOLVED HERE OR WITH A REFERRAL...  THIS ALSO APPLIES TO AMERASIAN'S CHILDREN.   IN GENERAL, IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO, THE RAO IS A GOOD PLACE TO START...  AS YOU HAVE NOTICED, WE USE MANY OF THE SAME ARTICLES OVER EACH MONTH WITH UPDATES...  OUR GOAL IS TO PROVIDE NEWCOMERS WITH COMPLETE DATE & TO UPDATE THE "OLE TIMERS".  WE HAVE MANY READERS THAT ARE ASKING ABOUT THEIR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER BEFORE PUBLICATION; THESE ARE THE MEMBERS WHO STAY CURRENT.  ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN, WE HAVE OTHERS, WHO DO NOT TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE NEWSLETTERS UNTIL THEY HAVE A PROBLEM...  THESE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO NEED THE ENTIRE NEWSLETTER WITH BACKGROUND DATA TO BECOME AWARE OF THE SERVICE THAT ARE AVAILABLE....

RAO SATELLITES:  WE HAVE ESTABLISHED RAO SATELLITES AT BACOLOD, CAGAYAN DE ORO, CEBU, DAVAO, LAOAG, DAGUPAN CITY, LA UNION, LEYTE ... SEE PAGE 40 FOR LOCATIONS...  ALSO WOULD LIKE TO ESTABLISH IT IN PALAWAN & OTHER LOCATIONS...  IF INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT ME AT THE RAO...  RESPONSIBILITY OF RAO SATELLITES WOULD BE TO:

  • PROVIDE A CENTRAL INFORMATION CENTER FOR YOUR AREA (WE PROVIDE DATA).

  • COORDINATE MEDICAL CARES IN YOUR AREA.

  • CASUALTY REPORTING AND ASSISTING DEPENDENTS/WIDOWS(ER)/CONTACT US.

  • MAINTAIN LOCATOR FILE (COPY FOR YOU & US).

  • ASSURE ELIGIBLE MEMBERS ARE ENROLLED IN DEERS (IF NOT CONTACT US).

  • ADVISE MEMBERS CONCERNING NEWBORN REGISTRATION WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA AND IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS.

  • CONTACT US WHEN PAY PROBLEMS CANNOT BE RESOLVED BY THE RETIREE/WIDOW.

  • ADVISE MEMBERS OF SERVICES AVAILABLE VIA SOCIAL SECURITY AND VA IN MANILA.

  • PASS OUT FED TAX FORMS & INSTRUCTIONS EACH JANUARY (WE PROVIDE).

  • ASSIST WITH U.S.MILITARY RECRUITING& REFER TO US.

  • NOT ALLOWED TO USE THE RAO TO PROMOTE PRIVATE BUSINESS.

  • PROVIDE A CENTRAL INFORMATION CENTER FOR YOUR AREA (WE PROVIDE DATA).

  • COORDINATE MEDICAL CARES IN YOUR AREA.

  • CASUALTY REPORTING AND ASSISTING DEPENDENTS/WIDOWS(ER)/CONTACT US.

  • MAINTAIN LOCATOR FILE (COPY FOR YOU & US).

  • ASSURE ELIGIBLE MEMBERS ARE ENROLLED IN DEERS (IF NOT CONTACT US).

  • ADVISE MEMBERS CONCERNING NEWBORN REGISTRATION WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA AND IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS.

  • CONTACT US WHEN PAY PROBLEMS CANNOT BE RESOLVED BY THE RETIREE/WIDOW.

  • ADVISE MEMBERS OF SERVICES AVAILABLE VIA SOCIAL SECURITY AND VA IN MANILA.

  • PASS OUT FED TAX FORMS & INSTRUCTIONS EACH JANUARY (WE PROVIDE).

  • ASSIST WITH U.S.MILITARY RECRUITING& REFER TO US.

  • NOT ALLOWED TO USE THE RAO TO PROMOTE PRIVATE BUSINESS.

MOST ALL THE DATA FOR RETIREE/DEPENDENT/WIDOW(ER) WILL BE PROVIDED MONTHLY FROM OUR OFFICE; HOWEVER, YOU ARE  ALSO  ENCOURAGE TO PUBLISH DATA THAT IS UNIQUE TO YOUR  LOCATION... SUGGESTED READING MATERIAL:

  1. AMILY CODE OF THE PI (LOCAL BOOK STORE)

  2. TRICARE STANDARD HANDBOOK---(http://www.tricare.osd.mil/TricareHandbook)

  3. EDERAL BENEFITS FOR VETERANS AND DEPENDENTS  (www.va.gov)

  4. SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT(www.ssa.gov)

  5. AFP 36-3028 -- (http://afpubs.hq.af.mil)

  6. RETIRED MILITARY ALMANAC-- (www.militaryalmanac.com)

EMERGENCY RAO SERVICE:  IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, I CAN BE CONTACTED AT CP 09279121804/FAX (045) 888 5079… PLEASE KEEP IN MIND, IF THE PROBLEM CAN WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT DUTY DAY, I COULD USE THE REST…

 

RAO BUSINESS:  WHEN WE FIRST OPEN IN THE MORNINGS, THERE  IS USUALLY A LINE OF PEOPLE WAITING... WE MUST TAKE CARE OF EMERGENCIES FIRST;  THEREFORE, THE BEST TIME FOR ROUTINE SERVICE IS BETWEEN 1030-1300  HRS....  WE DON’T WANT TO KEEP YOU WAITING WITH ALL THAT COLD SAN MIGUEL & BUD NEXT DOOR...

RAO SCHOLARSHIPS:  THANKS TO DONATIONS, WE WERE ABLE TO PROVIDE TWO COLLEGE LEVEL SCHOLARSHIP THIS SCHOOL YEAR… WOULD LIKE TO INCREASE THIS BY ONE OR TWO MORE NEXT SEMESTER IF WE RECEIVE SUFFICIENT DONATIONS… OUR FOUNDATION IS TAX EXEMPT (REF OUR WEB SITE) IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SUPPORT THE RAO SCHOLARSHIP, DROP BY THE RAO OR MAIL US A CHECK…

 

RAO “MINI” LIBRARY:  WE HAVE A SELECTION OF POCKETBOOKS AND MAGAZINES THAT CAN BE CHECKED OUT UPON REQUEST… ALSO HAVE A SET OF ENCYCLOPEDIAS; HOWEVER, OUR COPY IS OVER TEN YEARS OLD… WE ALSO PROVIDE POCKETBOOKS AND MAGAZINES TO OUR CHAMPUS PARTICIPATING HOSPITAL… IF YOU HAVE EXCESS BOOKS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE, PLEASE SEE ME AT THE RAO…

SCHOOLS IN ANGELES CITY:  WE HAVE FOUR VA APPROVED SCHOOLS IN OUR AREA:  ANGELES UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION (AUF), MCARTHUR HIGHWAY ANGELES CITY, E-MAIL:  auf@auf.edu.ph or auf@hotmail.com   WEBSITE:  www.auf.edu.ph; HOLY ANGEL UNIVERSITY (HAU), STO. ROSARIO ST. ANGELES CITY, E-MAIL: hau@hau.edu.ph  (Library) univ_libr@hau.edu.ph  WEBSITE:  www.hau.edu.ph;  REPUBLIC CENTRAL COLLEGE (RCC), PLARIDEL ST. ANGELES CITY, TEL. NO. (63 45) 888 2853  AND SYSTEM PLUS, STA ISABEL BLDG. MCARTHUR HIGHWAY BALIBAGO ANGELES CITY, E-MAIL: spccbal@datelnet.com… FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN, THERE ARE SEVERAL SCHOOLS TO SELECT FROM  AND MOST ALL TEACH IN ENGLISH… SCHOOLS ARE RATED VERY GOOD AND CAN ACCOMMODATE YOUR NEEDS FROM KINDERGARDEN TO A PH.D… AUF ALSO HAS A MEDICAL SCHOOL… COST OF THE SCHOOLS ARE AROUND $500-600. PER YEAR…  EXAMPLE A MASTER DEGREE WOULD COST BETWEEN $400-700. DEPENDING ON THE UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE SELECTED…

 

MILITARY RETIREES ARE URGED TO READ PENSION ADS CAREFULLY:  “RETIRED MILITARY MEMBERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THERE ARE COMPANIES THAT WILL OFFER A LARGE LUMP SUM OF CASH IN EXCHANGE FOR RETIREMENT PENSION CHECKS… RETIREES BEWARE! THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS PROVIDED BY THE NAVAL PERSONNEL COMMAND RETIRED ACTIVITIES BRANCH:  “WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER PAYING MORE THAN 50% IN INTEREST ON A LOANS?? THAT’S RIGHT, 50%! LIKE MOST PEOPLE, PROBABLY NOT… YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THERE ARE COMPANIES THAT WILL OFFER TO GIVE A LARGE LUMP SUM OF CASH IN EXCHANGE FOR YOU TO PURCHASE LIFE INSURANCE FROM THEM AS WELL… IN AN ACTUAL OFFER, THE RETIRED PAY OF AN O-4 WAS $2557 PER MONTH… HE WAS OFFERED $75,237 LUMP SUM AND WOULD HAVE TO AGREE TO PAY BACK $191,258 OVER AN EIGHT YEAR PERIOD!  YOU DO THE MATH… THESE COMPANIES APPEAR TO BE OPERATING LEGALLY AND COMPLY WITH FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS… BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT IS A GOOD DEAL!  BEWARE AND BE CAREFUL...” BUCKLEY ANGB COLORADO

DISASTER PREPAREDNESS:  BET YOU THOUGHT THAT YOU GOT AWAY FROM THIS TERMINOLOGY WHEN YOU RETIRED… SORRY, CAN'T LET YOU OFF THAT EASY… AS MOST REMEMBER FROM PINATUBO DAYS, IT PAYS TO BE PREPARED FOR NATURAL OR MAN MADE DISASTERS… THE PHILIPPINES HAS ITS SHARE OF EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANOS, TYPHOONS AND WE MUST PLAN ACCORDINGLY… WITH VOLCANOS AND TYPHOONS, WE SHOULD HAVE AMPLE WARNING AND STOCK UP ON SUPPLIES SUCH AS NONPERISHABLE FOODS, DRINKING WATER, FLASHLIGHTS WITH EXTRA BATTERIES, CANDLES, MEDICATION, COOKING GAS, FULL TANK OF FUEL FOR YOUR VEHICLE AND OTHER SUPPLIES YOU WOULD NORMALLY NEED FOR ABOUT TEN DAYS… ALWAYS SHOULD MAINTAIN A FEW DAYS OF EMERGENCY SUPPLIES IN CASE OF EARTHQUAKE’S OR MAN MADE DISASTERS… WE SHOULD ALSO PLAN ON HAVING EXTRA FUNDS OR CREDIT CARDS IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES… REALIZE THIS IS SOMETIMES HARD TO DO ON A TIGHT BUDGET; HOWEVER, THIS IS WHERE A CREDIT CARD COULD COME IN HANDY… SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP YOUR FAMILY’S PASSPORTS UP TO DATE AND NEWBORNS REGISTERED WITH THE EMBASSY… HARD TO DO THESE THING DURING EMERGENCIES… NOTIFICATION SYSTEM DURING EMERGENCIES; WE HAVE ARRANGEMENT WILL CABLE TV TO USE CHANNEL 3 DURING EMERGENCIES TO KEEP YOU INFORMED… IF POWER IS OUT, WE WILL PASS ON THIS INFORMATION TO ALL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS… OUR OFFICE WILL BE OPEN, WORKING WITH U.S. EMBASSY AND THE LOCAL GOV’T TO PROVIDE INFORMATION/SERVICES AS REQUIRED…

LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE (LTO):  EMPHASIS IS NOW BEING PLACED ON EARLY WARNING DEVICES (EWD)... TO AVOID A FINE AND POSSIBLE DRIVING PRIVILEGES SUSPENSION IT WOULD BE WISE TO HAVE THE EWD IN YOUR VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES AND DON’T FORGET TO KEEP SEAT BELTS BUCKLED OR BE READY TO DONATE... APPEARS THAT IF YOU COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE, KEEP YOUR REGISTRATION CURRENT, OBTAIN LICENSE PLATES ASAP AFTER PURCHASE OF A VEHICLE AND WEAR A HELMET IF RIDING A MOTORCYCLE/ SCOOTER THERE SHOULD NOT BE TOO MANY PROBLEMS WITH LOCAL POLICE... ACCORDING TO THE LTO, DAU, TOURIST WITH VALID DRIVERS LICENSE FROM COUNTRY OF ORIGIN ARE ALLOWED TO DRIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES UP TO 90 DAYS FROM DATE OF ARRIVAL... BE SURE TO CARRY YOUR PASSPORT & DRIVERS LICENSE FOR PROOF... MUST BE A PERMANENT RESIDENCE TO OBTAIN  A PHILIPPINE DRIVER'’S  LICENSE...

JOBS:  WE HAVE A LISTING ON OUR BULLETIN BOARD,  (ALL OVERSEAS)… HOPE TO HAVE LOCAL JOBS IN THE FUTURE…

 

FEDERAL JOB INFORMATION:  THE ARMED FORCES NEWS HAS ADVISED THAT FEDWEEK ESTABLISHED A FEDERAL JOB SEARCH CHANGE ENGINE THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE VERY INFORMATIVE.... THE WEB SITED IS http://www.fedweek.com AND CLICK ON FEDERAL JOB SEARCH SECTION... WE DID AND THE COST IS $24.00 PER YEAR OR $12.00 FOR A ONE MONTH ISSUE...

 

WORK PERMITS FOR FOREIGNERS:  IF YOU ARE GOING TO WORK IN THE PHILIPPINES, BE SURE TO OBTAIN A WORK PERMIT FROM THE PHILIPPINE DEPT.  OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT... FAILURE TO DO SO COULD JEOPARDIZE YOUR VISA STATUS... DROP BY THE OFFICE FOR ADDITIONAL DATA ON THIS SUBJECT....

WEBSITES:  http://www.balibago.com (BALIBAGO) / http://www.swaggy.com (SWAGMAN) / http://www.angeles2.com\board (SOUL GARDEN) / http://www.theville.com (MARGARITAVILLE):  THESE WEBSITES MAY BE OF INTEREST TO ANYONE WHO PLANS TO VISIT THE ANGELES CITY AREA… WEBSITES INCLUDE:  HOTELS, TRANSPORTATION, NIGHTLIFE, AND SEVERAL OTHER SUBJECTS… ANGELES CITY AREA IS GROWING (FAST) AND OBSOLETE SERVICE AND SHOPPING IS A THING OF THE PAST… WE HAVE VERY GOOD TELEPHONE SERVICES (WITH A CHOICE) AND SHOPPING FOR A CAR, HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES, COMPUTERS, GROCERY AND MODERN BANKING IS ROUTINE AND ENJOYABLE IN MOST CASES…

THINKING ABOUT OPENING A BUSINESS IN THE PHILIPPINES??:  YOUR FIRST STOP SHOULD BE WEB http://www.sec.gov.ph ... THE PHILIPPINE SECURITY AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION HAS PUBLISHED THE FOLLOWING DO’S AND DON’TS FOR INVESTORS;

  1. Be wary of unexpected telephone calls, letters, or even personal visits from people who offer quick- profit schemes that require your immediate investment.

  2. Be suspicious of “inside information,” hot tips, and rumors that supposedly will give you a big advantage over other, less knowledgeable investors.

  3. Turn down money request accompanied by high-pressure warning like “Tomorrow will be too late”, “Positioning is important” or “act now before there will soon be long waiting lists of others who want to take advantage of this golden opportunity.”

  4. Be wary of schemes that give emphasis on recruitment of members or “downlines”, particularly if the product being offered is overpriced, as the same may be a disguised pyramid scheme...

  5. Do not engaged in foreign currency trading unless you fully understand the mechanics or dangers of currency trading and can afford to lose your money (margin or security deposit).There is no such thing as guaranteed return in currency trading.

  6. Ask for a prospectus, offering circular, financial statement, or other similar document before you even consider investing.Then read the small print carefully, particularly on refund, and make sure you understand the terms thoroughly before signing any kind of commitment.

  7. When in doubt, make no promises or commitment, no matter how tentative.Remember, “if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.” It is far better to wait and lose an opportunity than to take the plunge and lose everything.

  8. Before making a commitment, get an opinion from lawyer, stockbroker, accountant, or the appropriate government office.

  9. Always demand official receipts in the name of the corporations or entities you are dealing with.

  10. Note that a Primary SEC Registration only grants juridical personality.It does not automatically give a company the authority to engage in all types of business activities such as lending, selling of securities and investment contracts, investment taking, etc.To confirm that the company or individual is properly licensed to conduct the business in question and has no history of violating the law, get in touch with the SEC...

 

AIR TRAVEL:  IN ADDITION TO THE INTERNET, SHOULD CHECK OUR NATI0NAL NEWSPAPERS FOR SPECIALS... THE MANILA BULLETIN HAS A LISTING ON SUNDAY AND THE INQUIRER ON MONDAYS... HAVE NOTICED PRICES AT AROUND $100.00 (ROUND TRIP) TO HONGKONG TO INCLUDE HOTEL AND LESS THAN $200.00 TO BANGKOK TO INCLUDE HOTELS... OTHER PACIFIC RIM SPECIALS ARE ALSO VERY ATTRACTIVE... COST TO THE STATES AND AUSTRALIA IS ALSO VERY REASONABLE... ALWAYS GOOD TO SHOP AROUND BEFORE MAKING A DECISION... WE KEEP THE SPECIALS POSTED ON OUR BULLETIN BOARD...

 

PHILIPPINE TAX:  HAVE RECEIVED SEVERAL INQUIRES CONCERNING TAX IN THE PHILIPPINES.. INCOME/RETIREMENT RECEIVED FROM ABROAD IS NOT TAXABLE IN THE PHILIPPINES; HOWEVER, PHILIPPINE INCOME IS SUBJECT TO TAXES... IF YOU PLAN TO OPERATE A BUSINESS IN THE PHILIPPINES I RECOMMEND YOU OBTAIN THE SERVICE OF A LOCAL ACCOUNTANT... U.S. TAX:  WE HAVE MOST ALL THE FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS AND CAN REFER YOU TO CPA IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE...

 

TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINES: SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK OUR BULLETIN BOARD OR THE U.S. EMBASSY WEB SITE www.usembassy.state.gov/manila FOR TRAVEL RESTRICTION BEFORE PLANNING TRIPS... GENERALLY,  TRAVEL IN THE PHILIPPINES IS CONSIDERED SAFE; HOWEVER,THERE HAS BEEN KIDNAPPINGS ON THE ISLANDS SOUTH OF MINDANAO PLUS MILITARY OPERATIONS ARE ONGOING...

 

 PHILIPPINES -- CONSULAR INFORMATION SHEET:  COUNTRY DESCRIPTION:  The Philippines is a developing democratic republic located in Southeast Asia. The archipelago consists of more than 7,000 islands, of which 880 are inhabited. The major island groupings are Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the center, and Mindanao in the south. Tourist facilities are available within population centers and the main tourist areas. English is widely spoken in the Philippines, and most signs are in English.

SAFETY/SECURITY:  Although much of the Philippines is hospitable to travel, a number of security-related incidents highlight the risk of travel in certain areas due to incidents of kidnapping, bombings, and other violence and criminal activity. The Philippine government has been engaged on and off in negotiations with Communist and Muslim rebel groups. Nonetheless, rebel activity and armed banditry in certain areas of the Philippines still pose security concerns. The Communist Party of the Philippines and its terrorist military arm, the New People's Army, remain active throughout the country and have issued public threats against U.S. citizens and interests in the Philippines. Americans are urged to exercise caution when traveling throughout the country and are specifically warned to avoid hiking or camping in the vicinity of  Mt. pinatubo in Pampanga Province. In Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago, kidnappings, bombings, violence, and insurgent activity make travel hazardous in many areas. The terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) has kidnapped several Americans and other foreign tourists since April 2000. Some were freed after substantial ransoms were paid, some escaped or were rescued by military action, and some were killed. Other kidnapping gangs operate in the same general area and have abducted a number of foreigners for ransom. Americans should defer travel to isolated beach resorts in the southern portion of the Philippines. Americans should also avoid travel to the central, southern and western areas of the island of Mindanao, including Zamboanga City and General Santos City, as well as to the islands of Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Jolo located in the Sulu archipelago in the extreme southwest of the Philippines as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, U.S. citizens and interests may also be at increased risk of terrorist actions from foreign or domestic extremist groups in the Philippines. There are periodic reports of plans for possible terrorist acts aimed at U.S. Government facilities or personnel, public and private institutions, and transportation carriers. The U.S. Embassy takes all such threats seriously. The State Department reminds all Americans traveling or living abroad of the need to remain vigilant with regard to personal security issues and to always follow some very basic and important security countermeasures: do not establish a pattern or routine in movement and travel; vary the times and routes taken to the extent possible; maintain a low profile; and immediately report any unusual activity, to include possible surveillance, to the Philippine Police and the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy.  The Embassy recommends that all travelers to the Philippines visit the Department of State web site at http://www.state.gov for the latest security and travel information. Travelers are also encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila at tel. (63)(2) 523-1001 for an update of the current security situation, especially if planning to travel outside the Metro Manila area.

CRIME INFORMATION:  As in many of the major metropolitan areas in the United States, crime is a serious concern in Metro Manila. As a rule of thumb, Americans are advised to exercise good judgment and remain aware of their surroundings. Reports of confidence games, pick-pocketing and credit card fraud are common. If someone offers you a deal that is too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of unknown individuals who attempt to befriend you, especially just after you have arrived in country. A number of recent robberies and assaults involving the "date rape drug" (known locally as Ativan) have occurred; the drug is generally administered to unwitting visitors via food or drink. It is best not to accept food, drink or rides in private vehicles from strangers even if they appear legitimate. A number of recent kidnappings and violent assaults, especially of foreigners, in the Metro Manila area has occurred, although Americans have not been specifically targeted in such crimes. There have also been reports of vehicles with foreign passengers being robbed by gunman while driving to and from the international Airport.  It is best not to flaunt your nationality and to maintain a low profile. Avoid wearing large amounts of jewelry, and do not carry large amounts of money. Visitors should use safety deposit boxes at hotels. Taxis are the recommended form of public transportation; however, the following safeguards are important: do not enter a taxi if it has already accepted another passenger, and request that the meter be used. If the driver is unwilling to comply with your requests, it is best to wait for another cab. It is also a good idea to make a mental note of the license plate number should there be a problem. When driving in the city, make certain that the doors are locked and the windows rolled up. All other forms of public transportation, such as the light rail system, buses, and "jeepneys" should be avoided for both safety and security reasons.  Visitors should also be vigilant when using credit cards. One common form of credit card fraud involves the illicit use of an electronic device to retrieve and record information, including the PIN, from the card's magnetic strip. The information is then used to make unauthorized purchases. To limit your vulnerability to this scam, never let your card out of your sight. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, to contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred. Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," for ways to promote a trouble-free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents; U.S. Government Printing Office; Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.

 

MEDICAL FACILITIES:  Adequate medical care is available in major cities, but even the best hospitals may not meet the standards of medical care, sanitation, and facilities provided by hospitals in the United States. Medical care is limited in rural and more remote areas. Most hospitals will require a down payment of estimated fees at the time of admission.  Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost several thousands of dollars or more. Doctors and hospitals in the Philippines often expect immediate cash payment for health services. A list of doctors and medical facilities in the Philippines can be found on the web page of the U.S. Embassy in Manila at http://www.usembassy.state.gov/manila.

 

MEDICAL INSURANCE:  The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations. When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death. Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling Abroad," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page: http://travel.state.gov or by auto f ax at (202) 647-3000.

 

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS:  Travel within the Philippine archipelago is possible by boat, plane, bus, or car. Few tourists rent a car to drive, as the road system is crowded and drivers are undisciplined. Driving off the national highways and paved roads is particularly dangerous, especially at night, and should be avoided. To avoid overcrowded or unsafe transport, Americans should exercise caution in planning travel by older, inter-island ferryboats or other public conveyances. While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning the Philippines is provided for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.  Safety of Public Transportation: Fair Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor  For additional general information about road safety, including links to foreign government sites, please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information concerning Philippine driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. at tel. (202) 467-9300 or via the Internet at http://www.philippineembassy.usa.org. Please see also related information from the Philippine Department of Tourism at http://www.tourism.gov.ph and http://www.dotpcvc.gov.ph.

CRIMINAL PENALTIES:  While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can he more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Philippine laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. Capital punishment is possible for certain drug-related crimes. Fraud, swindling and "bad debts" are also serious criminal offenses in the Philippines, as is the illegal recruitment of Philippine citizens for employment overseas. The Philippine government also has strict laws against the possession of firearms, and several foreigners have been sentenced to life imprisonment for bringing firearms into the country. Americans who are arrested overseas should immediately ask to contact a U.S. Embassy representative.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: MARRIAGE IN THE PHILIPPINES:  A foreigner who wishes to many in the Philippines is required by the Philippine Government to obtain from his/her Embassy a "Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage" before filing an application for a marriage license. Because there is no national register of marriages in the United States, the U.S. Embassy cannot provide such a certification. As a result, the Philippine government will accept an "Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage" in its place. Americans may execute this affidavit at the U.S. Embassy in Manila any day, Monday-Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. except for Philippine or American holidays. The American must present his/her U.S. passport. There is a fee of $30.00 or its peso equivalent for the affidavit, payable in cash only. Philippine authorities will not accept any substitute document initiated in the United States. U.S. military personnel should contact their personnel office before traveling to the Philippines regarding Department of Defense joint service regulations. Execution of the affidavit by a U.S. consular officer is a natural act and, as such, the consular officer is authorized by U.S. law to refuse to perform the service if the document will be used for a purpose patently unlawful, improper, or inimical to the best interests of the United States (see 22 C.F.R. section 92.9b). Entering into a marriage contract for the principal purpose of facilitating immigration to the United States for an alien is an unlawful act, and the U.S. Code provides penalties for individuals who commit perjury in an affidavit taken by a consular officer. The Marriage Application Process: Once an American citizen has obtained from the U.S. Embassy an "Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage," he/she may file an application for a marriage license at the office of the Philippine Civil Registrar in the town or city where one of the parties is a resident. The U.S. citizen applicant must present: (a) the affidavit; (b) the divorce decree(s) or death certificate(s), if applicable, required to verify civil status and legal capacity to contract marriage; (c) their U.S. passport; and (d) documentation regarding parental consent or advice, if applicable. (Persons aged 18 to 21 must have written parental consent to marry in the Philippines; those aged 22 to 24 must have received parental advice. Philippine law prohibits marriage for persons under the age of 18.). A judge, a minister or other person authorized by the Government of the Philippines can perform the marriage.  Marriage to a U.S. citizen confers neither citizenship nor an automatic eligibility for entry to the United States. An immigrant visa is required for a foreign spouse to live in the United States. Questions about filing an immigrant visa petition to bring a foreign spouse to the United States should be directed to the nearest office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the State Department's Visa Office (telephone: (202) 663-1225) or, while in the Philippines, to the U.S. Embassy Immigrant Visa Unit at http://www.usembassy.state.gov/manila/wwwh3023.html.

CLARKFIELD MUSEUM:  LOCATED AT THE OPPOSITE  END OF THE PARADE  GROUND FROM THE FORMER 13TH AIR FORCE HQ (NOW CDC) WITH AN  ANTIQUE CANNON IN FRONT...  A MUST TO SEE...  HOURS 0830-1730, MON THRU SAT, ADMISSION IS ONLY P10.; HOWEVER THEY DO ACCEPT DONATIONS... TEL NO. (63 45) 599-3221

 

TRAVELING ON A BUDGET:  FOR TRAVEL ENTHUSIASTS ON A TIGHT BUDGET, HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO CUT COSTS ON A TRIP:

  • Ask around and scout for best travel package offerings before booking a trip.  Different travel agencies offer different packages.  Choose the best deal.

  • Buy a package deal that includes airfare and hotel accommodation.  Be on the look out for additional perks.  A good travel agent knows how to get the best prices on flights, accommodation, and other services.  Make sure you get assistance from one.

  • Bring food such as cup noodles and soup mixes in sachet instead of eating lunch, dinner or snacks at the hotel or restaurant, which may cost you a lot.

  • Stop yourself from drinking bottled water and sodas in your hotel room’s refrigerator.  They cost three times as much as when you buy them outside or in convenience stores.  Stock up just enough for the duration of your stay.

  • Check out for the best money changer in town where you can get the best exchange rates for your money.

  • When doing your shopping, don’t be an impulsive buyer.  Compare prices with other stores that offer similar items before you make a purchase.

  • Bring bottled water and biscuits while shopping to avoid eating out in a restaurant when you get tired and hungry.

  • Take advantage of free concerts and shows.  You may check out with the hotel for schedule of events for free shows and activities.

  • Don’t buy souvenir items at the airport.  They’re normally more expensive.  Get them at downtown bazaars and night market.

  • Make sure you don’t fill your luggage with unnecessary items that will add weight to the allowable load.  Otherwise, you will end up paying for excess baggage.

 

MEDICAL DATA FOR RETIREES WHO ARE CONSIDERING A MOVE TO THE PHILIPPINES:  AS YOU MAY GATHER BY READING OUR NEWSLETTER/WEBSITE, I AM VERY PROUD OF THE IMPROVEMENTS MADE IN OUR DAILY LIFE SINCE CLARK AIR BASE CLOSED BACK IN ’91… DURING THE PINATUBO ERUPTION AND THE AGONIZING COUNTDOWN TO CLARK’S CLOSURE, I WAS QUITE NERVOUS ABOUT THE PROSPECT OF BEING LEFT WITHOUT BASE SUPPORT AND OUR CITY WAS BURIED IN 6-8’ OF VOLCANIC SAND WITH OUR BRIDGES OUT, MANY BUSINESSES WERE CLOSED AND SURVIVAL WAS THE NAME OF THE GAME… SOMEHOW, WE GOT THROUGH THE INITIAL SHOCK AND GRADUALLY ESTABLISHED SOME OF THE SERVICES THAT WE HAD BEEN ACCUSTOMED… THIS WAS ACCOMPLISHED BY A JOINT EFFORT OF THE  FILIPINO-AMERICAN COMMUNITY WHO WERE DETERMINED TO MAKE THE BEST OF AN ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE SITUATION… MEDICAL SUPPORT WAS OUR PRIMARY CONCERN AND THIS IS WHERE ANGELES UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION MEDICAL CENTER (AUFMC) CAME THROUGH MUCH BETTER THAN WE COULD HAVE EVER HOPED… MANY AUFMC PHYSICIANS HAD BEEN TRAINED AT THE CLARK REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER AND THIS JOINT ENDEAVOR PRODUCED BENEFITS THAT WE STILL ENJOY TODAY… SOME OR OUR RETIREES-FAMILIES FOUND THEY HAD THE SAME PHYSICIAN DOWNTOWN THAT THEY HAD ON CLARK… IN ADDITION, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY HAD RECENTLY PURCHASED EQUIPMENT FROM A HOSPITAL THAT WAS CLOSING IN THE UNITED STATES AND WE WERE IN PRETTY DARN GOOD SHAPE… WITH THE HELP OF THE CLARK  MEDICAL STAFF AND WITH THE COOPERATION OF THE AUF PRESIDENT & STAFF, WE WERE ABLE TO GET AUFMC AUTHORIZED AS AN CHAMPUS PARTICIPATING HOSPITAL WHICH SOLVED MANY OF OUR MEDICAL & FINANCIAL PROBLEMS… WE HAVE SINCE ADDED TWO NEW HOSPITALS IN OUR AREA AND TRICARE CLINICS AND HAVE SOME OF THE BEST MEDICAL CARE IN THE PACIFIC RIM...  AUFMC TOOK CARE ABOUT 90% OF OUR MEDICAL NEEDS, THE REST WAS BEEN TAKEN CARE OF BY MAJOR HOSPITALS IN MANILA AND U.S. HOSPITALS IN THE PACIFIC AREA… THE VA HAS PROVIDED CARE TO OUR MEMBERS WITH SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITY WHICH I WOULD ESTIMATE  THAT COVERS ABOUT 30% OF OUR MEDICAL NEEDS… AUFMC & MT. CARMEL PROVIDES VA CARE AS WELL AS TRICARE STANDARD (CHAMPUS)… THE VA HAS A MAJOR CLINIC IN MANILA AND HAS A “FEE BASIS PROGRAM” WHICH PROVIDE CARE IN AREAS OUTSIDE OF MANILA… IN GENERAL, WE HAVE GOOD MEDICAL SUPPORT… FOR THOSE WHO HAVE SEVERE MEDICAL PROBLEMS AND ARE THINKING ABOUT MOVING HERE SHOULD TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE CAPABILITY WE HAVE AND THE MEDICAL PROGRAMS AUTHORIZED IN THE UNITED STATES VS HERE… EXAMPLE, WE DO NOT HAVE MILITARY BASES AND MEDICARE IS NOT AUTHORIZED OUTSIDE OF U.S. TERRITORY… IN A NUTSHELL, IF YOU HAVE SEVERE MEDICAL PROBLEMS, YOU SHOULD LOOKS AN OPTIONS BEFORE MOVING HERE… IF YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TRICARE AND HAVE STATESIDE INSURANCE, I WOULD SUGGEST YOU CHECK WITH YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS EXTENDED TO OUR AREA (NEED IN WRITING)… HOPE THIS WILL GIVE YOU MORE OF AN INFORMED OPINION BEFORE YOU PACK AND YOU CAN ALWAYS CONTACT ME BY E-MAIL, FAX,  AND LTR  FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION… WELCOME TO OUR PARADISE...

MEDEVAC POLICY:  YOKOTA AIR BASE HAS ESTABLISHED POLICIES TO SUPPORT THE PHILIPPINES WITHIN THEIR  BUDGET.... SERVICE IS VERY EXPENSIVE AND WILL BE LIMITED TO SAVING LIFE, LIMB OR EYESIGHT.... RETIREES, DEPENDENTS  & WIDOWS(ER) THERETO  ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS MEDEVAC  SERVICE.... WE CANNOT REQUEST MEDEVACS FOR TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS OR WHEN MEDICAL CARE IS AVAILABLE IN THE PHILIPPINES.... PLEASE NOTE THAT COST OF CARE LOCALLY CANNOT BE A FACTOR WHEN REQUESTING THIS SERVICE....

 

 

PART B MEDICARE FOR NON-RESIDENT SPOUSES OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE (PHILIPPINES):  IF YOUR SPOUSE IS OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE AND HAS NOT APPLIED FOR U.S. SOCIAL SECURITY/ENROLLED IN PART B MEDICARE, PLEASE SEE ME... THIS ALSO INCLUDES WIDOWS OF MILITARY RETIREE/ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS WHO WERE KILLED/DIED WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY... TRICARE FOR LIFE (TLF) IMPLEMETATION PROCEDURES ARE STILL BEING WRITTEN; HOWEVER, BASED ON MY INTERPRETATION OF THE BASIC TLF RULES, ALL ELIGIBLE MEMBERS OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE MUST BE ENROLLED IN PART B MEDICARE TO RECEIVE TLF BENEFITS EFFECTIVE OCT 2001... ACCORDING TO SOCIAL SECURITY, THE ELIGIBLE SPOUSE DOES NOT HAVE TO MEET THE FIVE YEAR, U.S. RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND ENROLL IN MEDICARE PART B; HOWEVER, THE APPLICANT MUST PAY THE MONTHLY PREMIUM  PLUS AN ADDITIONAL 10% PER YEAR FOR THOSE OVER 65 WHO WERE NOT PREVIOUSLY ENROLLED... TO APPLY AT THE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE, U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA, THE APPLICANT WILL NEED A MARRIAGE CONTRACT, BIRTH CERTIFICATE, PICTURE ID, DD FORM 214/SSN OF THE SPONSOR AND IF DECEASED A COPY OF THE DEATH CERTIFICATE... OVER 65 OPEN SEASON ENROLLMENT DATES ARE BETWEEN 01 JAN AND 31 MAR EACH YEAR WITH A 01 JUL  ELIBIBILITY DATE... FOR THOSE WHO WILL BECOME AGE 65, THIS YEAR YOU CAN ENROLL THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY...

COST OF MEDICAL CARE:  LIKE MOST OTHER PLACES, HEALTH CARE IS NOT GETTING ANY CHEAPER.    IF YOU HAVE INSURANCE, THE INSURANCE COMPANY WILL USUALLY MONITOR THE COST; HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE PAYING THE BILL AND THE MEDICAL CONDITION IS NOT AN EMERGENCY, IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO ASK YOUR PHYSICIAN/SURGEON ABOUT THE COST...  TOO LATE TO COMPLAIN AFTER THE PROCEDURE HAS BEEN COMPLETED...  HOSPITAL COST AT OUR CHAMPUS PARTICIPATING HOSPITAL (AUFMC) IS COMPUTERIZED AND THEY WILL PROVIDE A DAILY READOUT UPON REQUEST...  PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PROFESSIONAL FEES ARE NOT PART OF THE HOSPITAL COST & YOU WILL BE BILLED SEPARATELY BY YOUR ATTENDING PHYSICIAN(S)/SURGEON...  THE HOSPITAL DOES NOT HAVE CONTROL OVER THIS COST AND THAT IS A GOOD REASON WHY YOU SHOULD FIND OUT BEFOREHAND… ANYTIME YOU THINK YOU WERE OVERBILLED, PLEASE CONTACT ME...

 

EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE FOR LOCAL NATIONALS/FOREIGNERS WITHOUT FUNDS:  HELPING ANYONE WITH A MEDICAL EMERGENCY IS NATURAL FOR MOST AMERICANS; HOWEVER, YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF SOME OF THE LOCAL CUSTOMS...  IF YOU TAKE ANYONE TO THE HOSPITAL/EMERGENCY ROOM, BE SURE TO INFORM THE HOSPITAL THAT YOU ONLY PROVIDED ASSISTANCE AND WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY BILLS UNLESS YOU DESIRE TO PAY…   IF YOU ARE GOING TO PAY THE BILL, THERE IS ANGELES GENERAL HOSPITAL LOCATED AT PAMPANG, EMERGENCY DISTRICT HOSPITAL LOCATED AT MABALACAT AND SAN FERNANDO PROVINCIAL HOSPITAL WHICH ARE CONSIDERED GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS AND THE BILL WILL BE LESS PAINFUL....

ANGELES  GENERAL HOSPITAL (GOV'T HOSP):  LOCATED NEAR THE PAMPANG PUBLIC MARKET AREA, ANGELES CITY...  THIS IS A GOOD NO-FRILLS GOV’T HOSPITAL FOR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD BETTER.  THE EQUIPMENT, SERVICE FOR COMFORT OF THIS HOSPITAL CANNOT BE COMPARED TO AUF MEDICAL CENTER NOR WAS THAT THE INTENTION...  EXAMPLES; YOU CAN HAVE AN AIRCON SEMI PRIVATE ROOM (4 BEDS) FOR P170.00 PER DAY OR ABOUT $6.50 PER DAY (CHEAPER THAN A HOTEL... MEDICINE MUST BE PAID AS YOU USE BASIS...  WE HAD ONE PATIENT WHO STAYED ABOUT A WEEK IN THIS HOSPITAL AND HIS TOTAL BILL WAS LESS THAN $100.00... IF ONE IS NOT AUTHORIZED CHAMPUS/VA/NOR HAVE INSURANCE AND LIVE ON A LIMITED BUDGET, THIS MAY BE A GOOD ALTERNATIVE...  WE'VE HAD SEVERAL MEMBERS IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO HAVE NOT SEEKED MEDICAL ATTENTION BECAUSE OF COST... HOPE YOU WILL TAKE THESE ALTERNATIVES SERIOUSLY...   WE HAVE MADE ARRANGEMENTS WITH THE HOSPITAL STAFF TO CONTACT US WHEN AMERICANS ARE ADMITTED AND WE WILL MONITOR YOUR HOSPITAL STAY...  NOTE:  MONITOR DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE ARE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A DAILY SUPPLY OF SAN MIGUEL…

HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE:  “Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.  However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.  A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.  A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.  Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.  The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm.  In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.  Tell as many people as possible about this.  It could save their lives.”  SOURCE:  Retiree Report SAFB

 

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE/HYPERTENSION:  WE ARE HAVING MORE PEOPLE HOSPITALIZED THAN NORMAL FOR FAILING TO MANAGE HIS/HER BLOOD PRESSURE… ONCE YOU HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED AS HAVING HYPERTENSION, YOU SHOULD STAY ON YOUR MEDICATION UNTIL YOUR PHYSICIAN ADVISES YOU OTHERWISE… WITH A PROPER DIET AND EXERCISE PROGRAM, ONE CAN PREVENT THIS PROBLEM IS MOST CASES AND THE ONES WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE CAN LOWER THEIRS… JUST NEED TO MAKE AN EXERCISE PROGRAM PART OF YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE AND EAT PROPERLY (NOT A LIQUID DIET)… EVERYONE THAT HAS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE SHOULD HAVE A BLOOD PRESSURE KIT AND MONITOR AT LEAST WEEKLY TO INSURE YOUR MEDICATION IS STILL EFFECTIVE…

 

TB (TUBERCULOSIS):  A VERY HIGH PERCENTAGE OF THE PHILIPPINE POPULATION IS AFFECTED WITH THIS PROBLEM; THEREFORE, EVEN WITH THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF PRECAUTION, ONE STANDS A VERY GOOD CHANCE OF EXPOSURE…  ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAMS PLUS HAVING EVERYONE IN YOUR QUARTERS CHECKED INITIALLY WOULD BE REDUCE ONES CHANCES OF INFECTION CONSIDERABLY…

DENGUE  FEVER  (H-FEVER):  IF YOU KEEP UP WITH THE MAJOR NEWSPAPERS AND LOCAL NEWS, YOU HAVE PROBABLY HEARD ENOUGH ABOUT DENGUE FEVER… IN EVENT YOU HAVEN’T HEARD ABOUT THIS “BUG”, THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM IN THE PHILIPPINES AND OTHER COUNTRIES HERE IN ASIA… DENGUE FEVER IN THE INITIAL FORM IS USUALLY NO MORE SERIOUS THAN THE FLU WITH BASICALLY THE SAME SYMPTOMS; HOWEVER, IF IT SHOULD DEVELOP INTO THE HEMORRAHAGIC FORM, THIS IS VERY SERIOUS AND LIFE THREATENING… THIS MOST SEVERE FORM IS ASSOCIATED WITH LOSS OF APPETITE, VOMITING, HIGH FEVER, HEADACHE, ABDOMINAL PAIN AND BLEEDING… THE INITIAL STAGE OF DENGUE IS CHARACTERIZED BY RAPID DEVELOPMENT OF FEVER THAT LAST FROM FIVE TO SEVEN DAYS, WITH INTENSE HEADACHE, JOINT, MUSCLE PAIN AND RASH… THE RASH MAY DEVELOPS ON THE FEET OR LEGS USUALLY THREE TO FOUR DAYS AFTER THE FEVER STARTS… IF ONE HAS THESE SYMPTOMS, IT’S TIME TO SEE YOUR DOCTOR… CULPRIT:   A DAY BITING MOSQUITO… (AEDES HEGYPTI)

HOW TO PREVENT: THIS MOSQUITO THRIVES IN FRESH STANDING WATER AND THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THIS TYPE OF MOSQUITO IS TO ELIMINATE THE BREADING GROUND… THIS MUST BE A COMMUNITY PROJECT TO BE TRULY EFFECTIVE, AS THIS TYPE MOSQUITO WILL NORMALLY TRAVEL FROM 50 TO 200 METERS FROM THE BREADING GROUNDS… IF ANYONE IS DIAGNOSED WITH DENGUE FEVER WITHIN 200 METERS FROM YOUR QUARTERS, IT IS SAFE TO ASSUME YOU COULD ALSO BE THE NEXT VICTIM AND SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS…  YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS SHOULD:

  • DRAIN ALL STANDING WATER DAILY.

  • FLOWER POTS, EMPTY CANS, OLD TIRES AND OTHER RECEPTACLES IN THE YARD SHOULD BE DISCARDED…

  • KEEP YOUR SCREEN ON THE WINDOWS AND DOORS IN GOOD CONDITION…

  • SPRAY YOUR HOUSE WITH A GOOD MOSQUITO KILLER DAILY DURING THE RAINY SEASON…

  • USE INSECT REPELLENT DURING THE PEAK DENGUE SEASON…

NOTE:   THE DENGUE CARRYING MOSQUITO (AEDES) ARE NOT ALL INFECTED BY THE DENGUE VIRUS; THEY ARE JUST CARRIERS… WHEN THE MOSQUITO BITES A PERSON WITH DENGUE FEVER THEY BECOME CARRIERS…

 

RABIES:  LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH RABIES HERE IN THE PI DUE TO STRAY DOGS...  ACCORDING TO THE NEWSPAPERS, WE HAVE OUR SHARE HERE IN PAMPANGA AND THE SURROUNDING PROVINCES.  DOGS ARE THE BIG PROBLEM IN MOST AREAS; HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD ALSO BEWARE OF CATS OR EVEN BATS.   IF BITTEN BE SURE TO CLEAN THE WOUND THOROUGHLY WITH SOAP AND WATER AND CHECK IN AT THE BEST HOSPITAL AVAILABLE.   AUFMC HAS THE NEW TYPE VACCINE...   IF YOU HAVE PETS, BE SURE TO KEEP THE RABIES SHOTS UP TO DATE.  WE HAVE A GOOD VET LOCATED ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE RAO PLUS THERE ARE MANY MORE IN THE AREA...

 

GENERIC DRUGS:  ACROSS THE COUNTER DRUGS SUCH AS ASPIRIN AND VITAMINS CAN BE PURCHASED AT A FRACTION OF THE  COST  OF BRAND NAMES... EXAMPLE ASPIRINS (100 TABLET SIZE) IS AROUND P30.00 OR VITAMINS AT P40-70.00 PER 100 SIZE BOTTLE... YOU CAN PURCHASE THESE AT  MERCURY, MANSON DRUGS, ETC.... NEW PI LAW TO CONTROL MFR./SALES...  JUST READ THE LABELS…

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS:  PRESCRIPTION DRUGS SHOULD ONLY BE PURCHASED FROM AN AUTHORIZED PHARMACY AND NEVER OFF THE STREET... SOME OF OUR MEMBERS HAVE BEEN DUPED INTO PURCHASING VIAGRA/OTHER AS A GOOD DEAL FROM UNAUTHORIZED SOURCES AT A DISCOUNT... PHILIPPINE MEDICATION IS USUALLY INDIVIDUAL WRAPED OR SOLD BY BOTTLE, SEALED AND THE LABEL WILL INDICATE DATE MFR, EXPIRATION DATE AND CONTENTS UNLESS YOU PURCHASE A PARTIAL BOTTLE OF MEDICATION... THESE STREET DRUGS MAY NOT ONLY BE INEFFECTIVE BUT CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED... IF YOU SHOULD SUSPECT THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED FAKE/ILLEGAL DRUGS PLEASE CONTACT PHILIPPINE DEPT OF HEALTH (DOH) AT E-MAIL ADDRESS  bfod@doh.gov.ph

FAKE MEDICINES (PHILIPPINES):  AS MOST ARE AWARE THERE IS A LOT OF FAKE MEDICINE FLOATING AROUND THE PHILIPPINES AND HARD TO AVOID UNLESS YOU USE ONE OF THE BETTER PHARMACIES... SHOULD NEVER PURCHASE DRUSGS OFF THE STREET (EVEN VIAGRA) AND IF YOU SUSPECT YOU HAVE RECEIVED FAKE DRUGS CONTACT THE “FAKE-MED HOTLINE” AT 1-800-10FAKEMED TOLL FREE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE PHILIPPINES...

 

VIAGRA:  APPROVED IN THE PHILIPPINES… THIS IS ALSO TRICARE STANDARD AUTHORIZED FOR TREATMENT OF IMPOTENCE…  ANY CERTIFIED PHYSICIAN CAN WRITE THE PRESCRIPTION FOR SIX TABLETS PER MONTH TO COVER THREE MONTHS WITH THREE REFILLS WHICH WOULD BE A ONE YEAR SUPPLY (ANY ADDITIONAL “TREATMENT” WOULD BE AT YOUR EXPENSE)…  THIS WOULD BE AN OUTPATIENT PRESCRIPTION; THEREFORE, ONE WOULD BE REQUIRED TO ABSORB THE TRICARE STANDARD DEDUCTION BEFORE RECEIVING REIMBURSEMENT…  SOURCE: TRICARE…

DRUG ENTRAPMENT:  DON’T BE A SUCKER… AN AMERICAN CITIZEN BECAME A GUEST OF THE ANGELES CITY JAIL FOR VIOLATING THE DANGEROUS DRUG ACT WHILE PURCHASING A “JOINT” FROM A FRIENDLY STREET PUSHER ON FIELD AVENUE… THIS IS WHAT ONE COULD REFER TO AS A DOUBLE SUCKER; ONCE FOR PURCHASING DRUGS AND SECOND FOR TRUSTING A PUSHER… HOPE HE DIDN’T SELL HIM ANY “GOLD” RINGS AS WELL… THERE IS A LOT MORE WAYS OF HAVING FUN IN ANGELES CITY THAN BEING INVOLVED IN DRUGS…

 

RH  NEG-BLOOD:  SEEMS LIKE MOST OF OUR REQUIREMENT FOR WHOLE BLOOD LATELY HAS BEEN FOR RH NEG… ABOUT 99.9 PERCENT OF THE FILIPINOS HAVE POSITIVE BLOOD AND MANY OF OUR RETIREES ARE UNABLE TO GIVE BLOOD FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER… WOULD LIKE ALL OUR MEMBERS OR OTHER FOREIGNERS WHO HAVE RH NEG BLOOD TO REGISTER AT OUR MAIL ROOM… ALL BLOOD SHIPPED INTO THIS COUNTRY MUST COME IN THROUGH THE PHILIPPINE RED CROSS AND BE TESTED BEFORE BEING SHIPPED TO THE HOSPITAL CONCERNED… THIS TAKES A WHILE (TOO LONG) AND WE NEED TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT… THE ONLY OTHER SOURCE IS THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILIPPINES WHICH ARE LOCATED IN MANILA AND THEY ARE VERY LIMITED… EVERYONE WHO HAS RH NEG BLOOD SHOULD GET TO KNOW AT LEAST TWO OTHER PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SAME BLOOD TYPE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY… YOUR LIFE COULD WELL DEPEND ON THIS DECISION…

BLOOD DONORS:  WE HAVE  HUNDREDS OF RETIREES JUST IN ANGELES CITY ALONE PLUS DEPENDENTS; HOWEVER, WHEN SOMEONE IS IN NEED OF BLOOD, WE HAVE  A VERY DIFFICULT TIME FINDING A SUITABLE DONOR.  THIS PAST MONTH WE NEEDED TWO UNITS OF COMMON TYPE BLOOD; HOWEVER WE COULD NOT FIND ONE ACCEPTABLE DONOR, ONE BIG PROBLEM IS THAT ONE IS DISQUALIFIED IF YOU HAVE DRINKED ANY ALCOHOL WITHIN TWENTY FOUR HOURS, ON MEDICATION, ETC.  THIS DISQUALIFIES OVER 90% OF OUR RETIREES AND THEN IT IS HARD TO GET THE OTHER TEN PERCENT TO GIVE...  AS WE HAVE FOUND OUT IN THE PAST, WE CANNOT RELY ON THE BLOOD BANKS HERE IN THE PI; THEREFORE, WE MUST COME UP WITH OUR OWN SOLUTION(S).... RECOMMENDED THAT WE USE A BUDDY SYSTEM...  EACH RETIREE SHOULD KNOW AT LEAST FIVE PEOPLE WITH THE SAME BLOOD TYPE THAT HE/SHE CAN DEPEND UPON TO HELP IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY...  SHOULD YOU HAVE TIME TO PLAN AN OPERATION, YOU CAN GIVE YOUR OWN BLOOD PLUS YOUR BUDDY GROUP CAN HELP BUILD UP A SUPPLY PRIOR TO THE OPERATION... THIS IS MORE IMPORTANT IF YOU HAVE RH NEG BLOOD...  AS A  RULE, FILIPINOS DO NOT HAVE RH NEG BLOOD AND ONE MUST RELY ON THE BUDDY SYSTEM... NEED FOR ALL MILITARY RETIREES/ DEPENDENTS/WIDOW(ER) TO WHO CAN GIVE  BLOOD TO SIGN UP AT  THE  FPO ASAP... VERY IMPORTANT... OUR CHAMPUS PARTICIPATING HOSPITAL (AUFMC) ALSO HAS A BLOOD DONOR PROGRAM ESTABLISHED (GIVE NOW - RECEIVE LATER)... SEE BULLETIN BOARD FOR DETAILS...

 

U.S. MILITARY RETIREES AND TRICARE RESPONSIBILITY:  THE U.S. GOV’T HAS PROVIDED YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WITH TRICARE BENEFITS FOR LIFE AND HAS ENTRUSTED YOU WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF MAKING SURE THE BILLING IS CORRECT... DO NOT SIGN BLANK TRICARE CLAIM FORMS AND OBTAIN A COPY OF YOUR BILL BEFORE SIGNING ANY CLAIM... ONCE YOU RECEIVE A COPY OF THE STATEMENT FROM TRICARE, CHECK THE BILLING AGAINST YOUR RECEIPT AND IF ALL DOES NOT MATCH, SEE ME OR CONTACT TRICARE DIRECTLY...DO NOT ALLOW ANY PROVIDER TO OVERBILL TRICARE OR BILL FOR SERVICES NOT RENDERED... TRICARE HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU/YOUR FAMILY BY A GREATFUL NATION AND YOU SHOULD DO YOUR BEST TO PROTECT THESE BENEFITS... IF WE LET OUR GUARD DOWN, I GUESS ALL ARE AWARE THAT WE COULD LOOSE THIS VERY IMPORTANT BENEFIT...

TRICARE EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS (TEOB):  EVERYTIME A CLAIM IS FILED TO TRICARE AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT (SSN), YOU/YOUR FAMILY ARE SUPPOSED TO RECEIVE A TEOB EXPLAINING THE CHARGES... THIS IS AN EXCELLENT MANAGEMENT TOOL TO ENSURE UNAUTHORIZED CLAIMS/CHARGES ARE NOT FILED AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT... ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS CHECK EACH ENTRY ON THE TEOB AND IF THE COST IS EXCESSIVE OR IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE THE SERVICE CONTACT THE PROVIDER TO CORRECT THE MISTAKE… IF YOU SHOULD ENCOUNTER ANY PROBLEMS, CONTACT ME OR ISOS… THESE ARE OUR U.S. TAX DOLLARS AND WE SHOULD NOT ALLOW PROVIDERS/ BILLING AGENTS TO GET AWAY WITH OVERCHARGING FOR SERVICES OR SUBMITTING CLAIMS FOR SERVICE NOT RECEIVED...

 

TRICARE FOR LIFE (TFL):  IF YOU ARE OVER SIXTY FIVE (65) YEARS OF AGE RECEIVING SSA DISABILITY AND ENROLLED IN PART B MEDICARE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THESE BENEFITS...  IF NOT ENROLLED IN PART B MEDICARE, THE NEXT ENROLLMENT PERIOD IS BETWEEN 02 JAN – 31 MAR AND THE ELIGIBILITY DATE WILL BE 01 JUL... WHILE OVERSEAS THIS PROGRAM BASICALLY REINSTATES YOUR OLD CHAMPUS (TRICARE) BENEFITS THAT YOU ENJOYED PRIOR TO YOUR 65TH BIRTHDAY... IF YOU PLAN TO MOVE/VISIT THE UNITED STATES/TERRITORY PRACTICALLY ALL YOUR MEDICAL BILLS WILL BE TAKEN CARE OF BY MEDICARE WITH TRICARE BECOMING THE SECOND PAYER... THIS IS THE GREATEST ADVANCE IN MEDICAL CARE FOR MILITARY RETIREES THAT I CAN REMEMBER...

 

TRICARE MAIL ORDER PHARMACY:  EFFECTIVE 21 MAY 2003, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD) HAS AUTHORIZED MILITARY RETIREES TO RECEIVE TRICARE MAIL ORDER PHARMACY SHIPMENTS WITHOUT ANY WEIGHT LIMITATIONS VIA OUR FPO... THIS WAS ALLOWED UNOFFICIALLY BY THE EMBASSY PREVIOUSLY AND IS NOW OFFICIAL... PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE PRESCRIPTION CAN ONLY BE SHIPPED FROM THE “TRICARE MAIL ORDER PHARMACY” (NO OTHER AGENCY/BUSINESS... WITH THIS AUTHORITY WE CAN RECEIVE  PHARMACY; HOWEVER, WE DON’T HAVE ANYONE AUTHORIZED TO WRITE PRESCRIPTIONS (PHYSICIANS MUST BE REGISTERED IN THE UNITED STATES

 

FILING TRICARE CLAIMS:  IF THE CLAIM IS BEING SUBMITTED FOR AN ACCIDENTAL INJURY BE SURE TO ATTACH DD FORM 2527 (STATEMENT OF PERSONAL INJURY-POSSIBLE THIRD PART LIABILITY)... IF NOT INCLUDED, YOUR CLAIM WILL NOT NORMALLY BE PAID UNTIL SUBJECT FORM IS RECEIVED... IF RECEIVED WITHOUT THE DD FORM 2527, TRICARE WILL SEND YOU A COMPUTER GENERATED LETTER AND FORM TO COMPLETE... BE SURE TO COMPLETE AND RETURN ASAP OR YOUR CLAIM WILL BE PUT ON HOLD... IF YOUR PROVIDER SUBMITTED YOUR CLAIMS AND YOU RECEIVE A TRICARE LETTER WITH DD FORM 2527 ATTACHED BE SURE TO COMPLETE & RETURN OR CONTACT YOUR PROVIDER...

CHAMPVA:  FOR DEPENDENTS OF VETERANS WHO DID NOT RETIRE FROM THE U.S. MILITARY AND HAVE A PERMANENT AND TOTAL SERVICE CONNECTED CONDITION/DISABILITY... THIS PROGRAM USED TO TERMINATE LIKE TRICARE WHEN ONE REACHED  AGE 65; HOWEVER, ALL THIS CHANGED ON 05 JUN 2001 WHEN THE PRESIDENT SIGNED INTO LAW A NEW PROGRAM CALLED CHAMPVA FOR LIFE WHICH WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE 0CT 1, 2001 (SEE WEBSITE htyp://www.rao-cabr.com  ATTACHEMENT #3)...

REFERENCE THE CHAMPVA HANDBOOK... THE FOLLOWING PERSONS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR CHAMPVA BENEFITS, PROVIDING THEY ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR CHAMPUS (TRICARE) OR MEDICARE PART A AS A RESULT OF REACHING THE AGE OF 65:

  • THE SPOUSE OF CHILD OF A VETERAN WHO HAS BEEN RATED BY AN VA REGIONAL OFFICE AS HAVING A PERMANENT AND TOTAL SERVICE-CONNECTED CONDITION/DISABILITY...

  • THE SURVIVING SPOUSE OR CHILD OF A VETERAN WHO DIED AS A RESULT OF A VA RATED-SERVICE CONNECTED CONDITION; OR WHO, AT THE TIME OF DEATH, WAS RATED PERMANENTLY AND TOTALLY DISABLED FROM A SERVICE – CONNECTED CONDITION; AND

  • THE SURVIVING SPOUSE OR CHILD OF A PERSON WHO DIED IN THE LINE OF DUTY AND NOT DUE TO MISCONDUCT WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ENTRY INTO ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE...

TO FILE FOR CHAMPVA, YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION FROM WEB SITE http://www.va.gov/hac/champva/champva.html  OR SEE ME AND MAIL TO:

                                                                                                    CHAMPVA CENTER

                                                                                                       P.O. BOX 65023

                                                                                                DENVER, CO 80206-5023

SHOULD RECEIVED YOUR REPLY/CHAMPVA CARD WITHIN A COUPLE OF MONTHS...

VETERANS WITH 100% SERVICE CONNECTED DISABILITIES:  IF YOU DID NOT RETIRE FROM THE U.S. MILITARY, YOU ARE STILL AUTHORIZED SEVERAL BENEFITS… CHAMPVA:  IF RATE 100% PERMANENTLY DISABLED (SERVICE CONNECTED), YOUR FAMILY MAY BE AUTHORIZED CHAMPVA WHICH WORKS A LOT LIKE TRICARE STANDARD/CHAMPUS EXCEPT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO USE THE VA CLINIC FOR OUTPATIENT CARE AND OUR TRICARE PARTICIPATING HOSPITAL FOR INPATIENT CARE… ALSO ALLOWED TO USE OUR POSTAL FACILITIES PLUS OTHER PRIVILEGES WHEN YOU VISIT MILITARY BASES… NEW:  ADDED A WHEEL CHAIR RAMP AT OUR POST OFFICE… WILLING TO HELP ANYWAY WE CAN WITHIN OUR BUDGET, JUST ASK IF YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE CORRECTED…

MILITARY-CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT AND CONCURRENT DISABILITY PAY (CDP):  “THOSE WHO COMBINED THEIR MILITARY TIME WITH THEIR CIVIL SERVICE TIME IN ORDER TO ENHANCE THEIR CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENTS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR CDP... OFFICIALS POINT OUT THAT THOSE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE WILL HAVE TO COORDINATE WITH THE OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT TO REVERSE THE WAIVER OF RETIRED PAY... IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT BY DOING THIS, THE RETIRED MEMBER MAY INCUR A DEBT TO THE GOVERNMENT RESULTING FROM AN OVERPAYMENT... THE CDP LAW APPLIES TO RETIREES WHO HAVE A VA-RATED, SERVICE-CONNECTED DISABILITY OF 50% OR MORE... INDIVIDUALS WHO RETIRED FOR DISABILITY RATHER THAN UNDER THE REGULAR RETIREMENT LAW MUST HAVE AT LEAST 20 YEARS OF SERVICE…” SOURCE:  ARMED FORCES NEWS

COMBAT-RELATED SPECIAL COMPENSATION PROGRAM:  LOT OF PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS PROGRAM HAVE NOT FILED FOR THEIR BENEFITS... QUALIFICATIONS: “With the inception of the CRSC program on June 1, 2003, the following eligibility requirements were established:

  1. Retirees had to apply to their respective branch of service to be approved for CRSC.

  2. Retirees had to be in receipt of VA compensation.

  3. Retirees had to be in receipt of military retired pay or be in a suspended pay status due to receipt of VA compensation.

  4. Retirees had to have an approved combat-related VA disability rating of 60% or greater.Retirees having an approved combat-related disability associated with a Purple Heart had to have a rating of 10% or greater.

  5. Retirees had to have 20 years of active service or, for reservists, 7,200 reserve points in order to be eligible.

  • Effective January 1, 2004, CRSC eligibility was extended to retirees with combat-related VA disability ratings between 10% and 50%.Additionally, reservists needed only 20 years of qualifying service (supported by documentation from the applicable branch of service such as a 20-year letter, retirement orders or a statement of service) in order to be eligible.The other eligibility requirements remained unchanged.Please note that qualified reservists will not receive CRSC until they begin to receive retired pay at age 60.

  • Temporary Early Retirement Authorization (TERA) retirees are not eligible to receive CRSC unless they have returned to active duty and accumulated enough service time to meet the 20-year requirement before retiring for the second time.

  • You may be eligible for the new compensation if you have a combat-related VA disability, but in order to receive CRSC payments you must have an offset to your retired pay for VA disability compensation.Therefore, you must have a VA rating and be receiving disability compensation in order to receive CRSC payments.

  • Due to the combat-related nature of the Purple Heart, it would be unusual for a recipient not to have a combat-related VA disability rating.You may want to contact the VA to ensure that an error was not made in the determination of your combat-related disability rating.If your combat-related disability rating is approved and you meet the qualifying criteria, you may be entitled to receive CRSC payments.

You can obtain an application form on the Department of Defense (DoD) website at

http://www.dod.mil/prhome/docs/DD2860T.pdf.  The DoD has provided additional guidance for help in filling out the application.  You can also call or request an application from the services listed below.  Completed applications must be mailed – they cannot be submitted electronically.

ARMY:  Department of the Army U.S. Army Physical Disability Agency Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) 200 Stovall Street Alexandria, Virginia 22332-0470 Toll-free:  (866) 281-3254

NAVY AND MARINE CORPS:  Department of Navy Naval Council of Personnel Boards Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) Branch 720 Kennon Street S.E. Suite 309 Washington Navy Yard, DC  20374-5023 Toll free: (877)365-2772

AIR FORCE:  United States Air Force Personnel Center Disability Division (CRSC) 550 C Street West, Suite 6 Randolph AFB TX  78150-4708 Toll free:  (866) 229-7074”

VA PENSION:  SOME OF OUR PEOPLE MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR NON-SERVICE-CONNECTED-DISABILITY SUPPORT… THE FOLLOWING VA  DATA IS QUOTED FOR YOUR INFORMATION "VETERANS MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT IF THEY HAVE LIMITED INCOME WHEN THEY HAVE 90  DAYS OR  MORE OF ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE, AT LEAST ONE DAY OF WHICH WAS DURING A PERIOD OF WAR. THEIR DISCHARGE FROM  ACTIVE DUTY MUST HAVE BEEN UNDER CONDITIONS OTHER THAN DISHONORABLE...  THEY MUST BE PERMANENTLY AND TOTALLY DISABLE FOR  REASONS TRACEABLE NEITHER TO MILITARY SERVICE NOR TO WILLFUL MISCONDUCT...  PAYMENTS ARE MADE TO QUALIFIED VETERANS TO BRING THEIR  TOTAL  INCOME, INCLUDING OTHER RETIREMENT OR SOCIAL SECURITY INCOME, TO AN ESTABLISHED SUPPORT LEVEL..  COUNTABLE  INCOME MAY  BE REDUCED BY UNREIMBURSED MEDICAL EXPENSES.  PENSION IS NOT PAYABLE TO THOSE WHO HAVE ASSETS THAT CAN BE  USED  TO PROVIDE ADEQUATE MAINTENANCE"… IF  YOU  THINK  YOU  ARE QUALIFIED,  YOU  MAY  CONTACT  VA  OFFICE  AT  THE  U.S.  EMBASSY,  MANILA...

 

VA DEATH PENSION:  SURVIVING SPOUSES AND  UNMARRIED CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18, OR UP TO AGE 23 IF ATTENDING  A  VA APPROVED  SCHOOL OF DECEASED VETERANS WITH WARTIME SERVICE MAY BE ELIGIBLE FOR A NON-SERVICE-CONNECTED PENSION  BASED  ON NEED...   THE VETERAN MUST HAVE BEEN DISCHARGED UNDER CONDITIONS OTHER THAN DISHONORABLE AND MUST HAVE HAD 90 DAYS OR  MORE OF  ACTIVE  MILITARY SERVICE,  AT LEAST ONE DAY OF WHICH WAS DURING A PERIOD OF WAR, OR  A  SERVICE-CONNECTED  DISABILITY JUSTIFYING  DISCHARGE FOR  DISABILITY...   IN GENERAL, IF  YOUR  AMERICAN  SPOUSE  PASSED AWAY AND DID NOT LEAVE YOU WITH  MEANS OF SUPPORT,  YOU MAY BE  ELIGIBLE  FOR THIS BENEFIT… MUST HAVE BEEN MARRIED TO THE VETERAN OVER ONE (1) YEAR/HAVE A CHILD AS A RESULT OF SUBJECT RELATIONSHIP… IN SIMPLE  TERMS; IF  YOU ARE  A WIDOW(ER) AND NOT RECEIVING A U.S.  GOV’T CHECK, SEE ME…

 

VA BENEFITS:  IF OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE AND SERVED HONORABLY DURING A PERIOD OF WAR (DID NOT HAVE TO BE IN A COMBAT ZONE) AND MEET SERVICE AND INCOME REQUIREMENTS YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VA PENSION REGARDLESS OF CURRENT PHYSICAL CONDITION... IN A NUTSHELL IF YOU MET THE ABOVE REQUIREMENTS AND ONLY RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS/A SMALL INCOME LESS THAN THE AMOUNT ESTABLISHED BY CONGRESS YOU SHOULD CONTACT THE VA... THIS IS NOT A FEW BENEFIT; HOWEVER, WE HAVE FOUND SOME ELIGIBLE MEMBERS WHO DID NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS POLICY….

PRESUMPTIVE SERVICE-CONNECTION – Unlike most veterans, any veteran who served in Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, and has one or more of the diseases on the list of presumptive conditions that VA maintains must be presumed by VA to have been exposed to herbicides, and therefore that his or her disease is service-connected.  The current list is printed and described in the next article... This list and information about the diseases associated with Agent Orange are available online at www.va.gov/AgentOrange

EASY -- ACCORDING TO DFAS OFFICIALS, myPay’s NEW DESIGN WILL HELP CUSTOMERS FIND THE INFORMATION THEY WANT AND COMPLETE ANY TRANSACTION WITH JUST THREE CLICKS... AVAILABLE NEARLY 24 HOURS A DAY, myPay WILL MEAN NO WAITING IN LINES OR ON THE PHONE... IT WILL ALSO IMPROVE CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE BY PROVIDING CLEAR CONFIRMATION MESSAGES... SECURE – myPay WILL COMBINE STRONG ENCRYPTION AND SECURE SOCKETS LAYER TECHNOLOGY WITH THE USER’S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND PIN TO SAFEGUARD INFORMATION FROM UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESS, OFFICIALS EXPLAINED... CUSTOMERS WHO HAVE BEEN USING E/MSS CAN CONTINUE TO USE THEIR PIN AT http://mypay.dfas.mil .. MILITARY RETIREES AND ANNUITANTS WHO NEED A NEW PIN SHOULD GO TO THE WEBSITE AND CLICK ON “Need new PIN?” IT WILL BE SENT THROUGH THE MAIL... ALL CUSTOMERS WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT myPay MAY CALL CUSTOMER SUPPORT AT 1 (800) 390-2348, MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY BETWEEN 7 A.M AND 7:30 P.M. EASTERN TIME...  SOURCE:  AFTERBURNERS

DFAS MYPAY USERS:  IF YOU HAVE A PIN TO ACCESS YOUR DFAS RECORDS YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A HARDCOPY OF YOUR 1099R (TAX) OR THE ANNUAL RETIREE ACCOUNT STATEMENT UNLESS YOU SELECT THE HARDCOPY OPTION... TO SELECT THE HARDCOPY LOG ON TO MYPAY AND CLICK YOUR OPTION... ALL MEMBERS SHOULD RECEIVE A SIMILAR NOTICE FROM DFAS WITH INSTRUCTIONS...

 

DFAS CAUTIONS AGAINST LOOK-ALIKE SITES:  WHEN ACCESSING MYPAY FOR THE 1ST TIME BE SURE YOU HAVE THE OFFICIAL DFAS WEB... APPEARS THAT LOOK-ALIKE SITES HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED TO OBTAIN PERSONAL DATA FROM UNSUSPECTING DFAS CUSTOMERS... THE DFAS WEB IS http://mypay.dfas.mil

 

DFAS PIN:  IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INTERACTIVE DFAS WEB SITE http://emss.dfas.mil TO CHANGE SELECTED PAY DATA YOU MUST OBTAIN A PIN FROM DFAS…

 

LOST OR DELAYED GOV’T CHECKS:  SHOULD CONSIDER DIRECT DEPOSIT INCLUDING INCOME TAX CHECKS OR USE THE FPO SYSTEM IF YOU STILL DESIRE A CHECK…  IF YOU DO NOT TAKE THIS WARNING SERIOUSLY, DON’T GET EXCITED THE NEXT TIME YOUR CHECK IS LATE OR MISSING… TO RESOLVE THIS TYPE  OF PAY PROBLEM, ONE MUST CONTACT DFAS AT (216) 522-5898 OR WRITE TO DFAS, U.S. MILITARY RETIREMENT PAY, P.O. BOX 7130, LONDON, KY  40742-7130,  TEL # 1 (800) 31-1080 OR FAX # 1 (800) 469-6559… IF YOU CANNOT RESOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH DFAS, SEE ME…

LOCAL BANKS:  GET A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW SAFE ARE LOCAL BANKS… BANKS HERE ARE ONLY INSURED FOR P500,000.00 AND IF YOU HAVE A LARGE DEPOSIT IT WOULD BE WISE TO HAVE MORE THAT ONE BANKS… THERE IS USUALLY NOT ANY PROBLEMS WITH COMMERCIAL BANKS; HOWEVER, SMALL BANKS HAVE DIFFERENT GUIDELINES… ONE TREND I USUALLY APPLY IS IF A BANK IS OFFERING A SUBSTANTIALLY MORE INTEREST THAN OTHER BANKS, ONE SHOULD ASK WHY (TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE SHOULD APPLY)…

TRAVELERS’ CHECKS:  NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THE PHILIPPINES.. MOST BANKS AND HOTELS WILL NOT ACCEPT TRAVELERS CHECKS AND THE ONES THAT DO GIVE AN UNFAVORABLE EXCHANGE RATE... SUGGEST YOU USE ATM CARDS WHEN TRAVELING IN THE PHILIPPINES... IF YOU BRING EXTRA CASH, MOST HOTELS HAVE SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES AVAILABLE FOR MONEY/OTHER VALUABLE ASSETS... S.M. MALL IN THE SAN FERNANDO, PAMPANGA WILL ACCEPT TRAVELERS CHECK WITH PROPER ID…

S O S:   DO YOU REMEMBER ALL THE GRIPPING IN THE CHOW LINE ABOUT THAT S O S AGAIN.. GUESS WHAT IS THE FAVORITE ON THE MENU AT OUR SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS? YOU GUESSED  IT… S O S… HOW THINGS DO CHANGE… SEVERAL PEOPLE HAVE CONTACTED US OVER THE YEARS FOR THE SPS RECIPE… THIS RECIPE WAS PROVIDED BY A FOOD SERVICE SUPERVISOR (RET), THOMAS LEBICA… HE MOVED BACK TO THE STATES ABOUT A YEAR AGO AND I SURE DO MISS HIS FREE SAMPLES AND OUR CHATS… ½  CUPGROUND BEEF, 1 CLOVE GARLIC. DICED, 1 TEA SPOON ONION-DICED, ¼ TEA SPOON SALT, ¼ TEA SPOON BLACK PEPPER, 1 TABLE SPOON BUTTER OR MARGARINE, 1 TABLE SPOON  FLOUR, ¾ CUP MILK… IN HAVY SAUCE PAN (1 QUART)…

1.) ADD GARLIC, ONION, SALT & PEPPER TO GROUND BEEF AND COOK UNTIL BEEF IS BROWNED, DRAIN EXCESS GREASE… 2.) ADD BUTTER TO BEEF MIXTURE AND COOK 2 MINUTES… 3.) ADD FLOUR AND COOK APPROXIMATELY 2-3 MINUTES… 4.)  GRADUALLY ADD MILK STIRRING CONSTANTLY UNTIL MIXTURE THICKENS… JUST MULTIPLY THE NUMBER OF ½ CUPS BY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE YOU PLAN TO SERVE… SUGGEST YOU SERVE ON 2 PIECES OF TOAST WITH ONE EGG, 2 SLICE OF BACON… SOME RETIREES STATED THAT I FORGOT THE SAN MIGUEL TO “WASH” ALL THIS DOWN…

LOCATING AIR FORCE/NAVY RETIREES/ACTIVE DUTY MEMBERS:  THE AIR FORCE MAY NOT RELEASE HOME OR OVERSEAS ADDRESSES BUT WILL FORWARD A PERSONAL LETTER… SEAL YOUR LETTER IN A STAMPED ENVELOPE… ENTER YOUR RETURN ADDRESS (INCLUDING RETIRED GRADE) AND SEND YOUR LETTER AND ADDRESSEES NAME, GRADE AND SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR SERVICE NUMBER IN ANOTHER ENVELOPE TO:   AFPC/MSIMDL, 550 C STREET WEST STE 50 RANDOLPH AFB TX 78150-4752... (IF THE ADDRESSEE’S SSN/SN IS NOT AVAILABLE, THE LOCATOR NEEDS THE MOST RECENT AIR FORCE BASE ASSIGNMENTS/DATES, ETC TO HELP LOCATE ADDRESS)… FOR A REPLY ABOUT THE STATUS OF YOUR LETTER PROVIDE A STAMPED SELF-ADDRESSED ENVELOPE. LOCATOR SERVICE – FREE TO RETIREES – IS LIMITED TO ONE ADDRESS PER REQUEST… NAVY IS THE SAME PROCEDURE EXCEPT USA… NAVY ADDRESS:  COMMANDING OFFICER NRPC (CODE N33) 4400 DAUPHINE STREET NEW ORLEANS, LA  70149 7800… MARINE CORPS ADD:   HQ MARINE CORPS CMC (MMSR-6) 3280 RUSSELL ROAD QUANTICO, VA 22134... COAST GUARD ADD:  COMMANDING OFFICER (RAS) COAST GUARD HUMAN RESOURCES SERVICES AND INFORMATION CENTER 444 S.E. QUINCY STREET TOPEKA, KS  66683-3591…

NOTE:  THE U.S. ARMY DOES NOT PROVIDE THIS SERVICE ANYMORE (REF ARMY ECHOES).

 

COLD WAR RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE:  IF YOU SERVED BETWEEN SEPT 2, 1945 AND DEC 26, 1991, YOU ARE ELIGIBLE… WILL NEED A COPY OF YOUR 214/WD AGO FORM 53-55/OATH OFFICE/RE-ENLISTMENT CONTRACT (DD FORM 4)… ANY ONE OF THESE DOCUMENTS IS SUFFICIENT TO QUALIFY… CHECK  WEBSITE  http://147.103.18.232/sampletter  OR ORDER BY MAIL (SAMPLE LETTER ATCH) SEE WEBSITE http://www.rao-cabr.com  ATTACHMENT # 10)...

 

INDIVIDUAL TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (ITIN):  WE ARE THE IRS CERTIFYING AGENT FOR THE PHILIPPINES AND CAN OBTAIN ITIN’S FOR AUTHORIZED PERSON... IRS HAS BECOME MORE STRICT ON ISSUEING ITIN’S AND CAN ONLY BE OBTAINED FOR TAX PURPOSES... IF YOU ARE A QUALIFIED U.S. TAX FILER AND HAVE IRS AUTHORIZED DEPENDENTS WE CAN HELP... DOCUMENTATIONS REQUIRED:  IF YOUR DEPENDENT HAS A PASSPORT (CURRENT) AND YOU HAVE YOUR TAX RETURN READY FOR FILING WE CAN PROVIDE AND ATTACH OUR CERTIFICATION W-7 FORM TO YOUR TAX RETURN WHICH WILL SATISFY ALL REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ITIN... IF YOUR DEPENDENT DOES NOT HAVE A PASSPORT WE WILL REQUIRE TWO ID CARDS WITH AN EXPIRATION DATE (BEST TO HAVE  A PASSPORT)... ONCE THE PACKAGE IS READY FOR MAILING TO IRS, WE WILL GIVE YOU A SPECIAL IRS ADDRESS TO MAIL YOUR TAX RETURN... THE ITIN WILL BE RETURNED TO US AND WE WILL CONTACT YOU FOR PICK-UP/MAILING INSTRUCTIONS... ONCE YOU RECEIVE THE ITIN, YOU CAN USE THE SAME AS A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (SSN) TO FILE TAX IN THE FUTURE... THERE ARE FOUR EXCEPTIONS TO THE ABOVE RULE TO ALLOW US TO REQUEST ITIN’S (BANKING, SALE OF PROPERTY WHERE TAX WAS DEDUCTED ETC.) HOWEVER, AS A RULE OF THUMB AN ITIN WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNLESS REQUIRED FOR TAX REASONS...

CORRECT CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS:  DURING EVERY TAX SEASON THERE ARE MEMBERS WHO DO NOT RECEIVE 1099’S AND THIS IS PRIMARILY DUE TO AN INCORRECT ADDRESS... SHOULD KEEP THE AGENCY THAT YOU RECEIVE PAYMENT FROM INFORMED OF YOUR CORRECT CORRESPONDENCE ADDRESS FOR SEVERAL REASONS:  ONE, IF YOU DO NOT REPLY TO INQUIRIES, YOUR PAY COULD BE STOPPED AND OF COURSE YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUR END OF YEAR TAX DATA AND PAY UPDATES...

LEGAL:  BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO GIVE ANYONE A “POWER OF ATTORNEY”, SIGN A CONTRACT, APPOINT SOMEONE AS AN “ATTORNEY-IN-FACT” OR OTHER DOCUMENTS GIVING ANOTHER PERSON/BUSINESS AUTHORITY TO ACT ON YOUR BEHALF, YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY AND ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WOULD TRUST THIS PERSON WITH A JOINT BANK ACCOUNT… IF THE ANSWER IS NO, MAYBE YOU SHOULD RECONSIDER YOUR PLANS… IF YOU DECIDE ON A POWER OF ATTORNEY, THE AUTHORITY SHOULD BE LIMITED TO A SPECIFIC ACTION… A FULL OR GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY SHOULD NOT BE GRANTED EXCEPT WHEN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FIRST… ATTORNEY-IN-FACT CLAUSES ARE USED A LOT IN THIS COUNTRY AND WILL FIND IN LEASE AGREEMENTS, CONTRACTS, ETC AND SHOULD CROSS OUT IF POSSIBLE… THIS GIVES THE PERSON AUTHORITY TO TAKE CERTAIN ACTIONS WITHOUT FURTHER APPROVAL FROM YOU OR WITHOUT FOLLOWING THE DUE PROCESS OF LAW… IN GENERAL, YOU SHOULD NEVER GIVE ANYONE OR A BUSINESS AUTHORITY TO SIGN OR USE YOUR NAME UNLESS YOU WOULD TRUST THEM ON A JOINT BANK ACCOUNT… THIS ALSO APPLIES TO CHAMPUS/TRICARE CLAIMS BECAUSE YOU ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENTS… JUST A REMINDER ON PROPER USE OF CHAMPUS/TRICARE STANDARD – COST SHARE:   “WHENEVER YOU ARE USING THE BENEFITS YOU MUST PAY YOUR COST SHARE, NO ONE CAN WAIVE THIS PAYMENT SINCE THIS IS A MATTER OF LAW… IF YOU BREAK THIS LAW YOU CAN LOSE YOUR RIGHT TO USE THE BENEFIT… IN ADDITION, THE INSTITUTION OR PROVIDER WAIVING YOUR COST SHARE CAN LOSE THEIR ABILITY TO RECEIVE PAYMENT FROM CHAMPUS… THE BOTTOM LINE IS YOU CAN BE LEFT WITH NOTHING BY TRYING TO SAVE A FEW HUNDRED DOLLARS”… SOURCE CAPT KRIER, CHIEF OF TRICARE HAFB… WE KEEP RECEIVING HORROR STORIES ABOUT LAND PURCHASES IN THE PI... IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE TO PURCHASED LAND, BE SURE TO HAVE THE TITLE RESEARCHED... SHOULD HAVE AN ATTORNEY ON RETAINER IF POSSIBLE TO LOOK AT ANY MAJOR PURCHASE/LEASE AND FOR CONSULTATION ON OTHER MATTERS THAT PERTAIN TO LAW... WE HAVE A GOOD LAW FIRM ON RETAINER THAT YOU CAN USE OR  I CAN RECOMMEND SOME WITH A GOOD TRACK RECORD... BEING YOUR OWN LAWYER IS NOT A GOOD POLICY.  NOT LIKE BEING YOUR OWN PHYSICIAN (HARD TO SEE ON THE BACKSIDE)...

 

LEGAL (MY INTERPRETATION):  PRIOR TO MARRIAGE IN THE PHILIPPINES, YOU NEED TO REVIEW YOUR ASSETS…  ONCE MARRIED, FIFTY PERCENT OF YOUR ASSETS WILL BELONG TO YOUR SPOUSE…  PRIOR TO THE CONTRACT MARRIAGE, YOU ARE ALLOWED TO EXCEPT ANY/ALL ASSETS UP TO THE DATE OF MARRIAGE… DIVORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES IS NOT PERMITTED; HOWEVER, ANNULMENTS AND DIVORCE OUTSIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES IS LEGAL…  SEPARATION IS LEGAL; HOWEVER, USUALLY ALL ASSETS MAY BE SPLIT 50:50 AT THAT TIME… A WILL IS A MUST IF YOU ARE MARRIED TO FILIPINO CITIZEN OR YOU MAY END UP NOT OWNING  PROPERTY THAT YOU PAID FOR…  THE FOREIGN SPOUSE IS ALLOWED TO INHERIT LAND FROM THE FILIPINO SPOUSE AND MAY KEEP OR  SELL TO A FILIPINO CITIZEN…  WITHOUT A WILL, THIS IS DIFFERENT STORY…

LEGAL CORNER:  IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE A BIG-TICKET PURCHASE SUCH AS A HOUSE OR VEHICLE; HAVE THIS CHECKED OUT WITH  AN ATTORNEY PRIOR  TO ANY MONEY TRANSACTION..  CAN BE SAVE YOU A LOT OF PAIN LATER... YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU ARE RECEIVING A CLEAR  TITLE AND IF  THERE ARE ANY LIENS OR  IF  THAT PERSON REALLY OWNS THE PROPERTY...  YOU MAY BE SURPRISED AT SOME OF  THE THINGS PEOPLE TRY TO  PULL..  ALSO WHEN YOU PURCHASE A SECOND-HAND ITEM LIKE A FRIG, STOVE, BED, BICYCLE, ETC., BE SURE TO GET A BILL OF SALE WITH THE PERSONS TAX ACCOUNT NUMBER AND LOOK AT HIS/HER ID... BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN GET STUCK WITH STOLEN GOODS... DROP BY THE OFFICE WHEN IN DOUBT OR CHECK WITH YOUR SERVICE ORGANIZATION COMMANDER/PRESIDENT...

 

LIVING WILL:  SEVERAL OF OUR RETIREES ARE HERE WITHOUT FAMILY AND MANY DO NOT HAVE CLOSE RELATIVES IN THE STATES.   THIS CREATES A PROBLEM WHEN YOU GO TO THAT "BIG HANGER IN THE SKY"…  I HAVE BEEN ADVISED, THAT ACCORDING TO PHILIPPINE LAW; THAT A CLEAR HAND WRITTEN WILL IN YOUR OWN HAND WRITING IS LEGAL FOR HOW MUCH MEDICAL TREATMENT YOU DESIRE AND HOW YOUR REMAINS WILL BE HANDLED; HOWEVER, I RECOMMEND AN ATTORNEY TO INSURE THAT YOUR INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE FOLLOWED...  WE HAVE A RAO ATTORNEY ON RETAINER OR CAN RECOMMEND ONE IF YOU SO DESIRE….

 

RAO ATTORNEY ON RETAINER:  IF YOU HAVE LEGAL PROBLEM WE HAVE AN ATTORNEY ON RETAINER THAT CAN SAVE YOU A FEW BUCK (50% DISCOUNT)... OUR ATTORNEY IS ALSO ON THE U.S. EMBASSY RECOMMENDED LIST... WE’VE HAD THIS SERVICE ESTABLISHED FOR ABOUT TEN YEARS AND AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST... ALSO TRYING TO WORK OUT AN ATTORNEY ON CALL SYSTEM FOR ALL EXPATS AND THIS IS PRESENTLY BEING COORDINATED... THIS SERVICE WOULD BE AVAILABLE ON A 24/7 BASIS AND EACH MEMBER WOULD HAVE A 24HR NUMBER TO CALL IF LEGAL ASSISTANCE WAS REQUIRED... EXAMPLE:  “The police stopped you for a traffic violation that you thought was not justified you could use your cell phone to contact your attorney and he could discuss the matter with the cop or if the police wanted to search your property, the same could apply... Appears to be a good program and if we can find sufficient interest the cost would be minimal.”  THIS WOULD APPLY TO INDIVIDUALS ONLY AND NOT BUSINESS…

PHILIPPINE FAMILY CODE CHANGE:  A NEW LAW (REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9255) HAS BEEN PASSED BY THE PHILIPPINE CONGRESS ALLOWING ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN TO USE THE SURNAME OF THEIR FATHER (BEFORE ONLY THE SURNAME OF THE MOTHER COULD BE USED)... LAW IS EFFECTIVE AS OF JUNE 2004... UNDER THIS LAW, THE CHILD MAY USE THE SURNAME OF HIS OR HER FATHER IF THE FATHER SHALL EXECUTE AN AFFIDAVIT OF AUTHORITY TO USE HIS SURNAME...

Republic Act No. 10172: AN ACT FURTHER AUTHORIZING THE CITY OR MUNICIPAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OR THE CONSUL GENERAL TO CORRECT CLERICAL OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS IN THE DAY AND MONTH IN THE DATE OF BIRTH OR SEX OF A PERSON APPEARING IN THE CIVIL REGISTER WITHOUT NEED OF A JUDICIAL ORDER, AMENDING FOR THIS PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NUMBERED NINETY FORTY-EIGHT

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

​SECTION 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 9048, hereinafter referred to as the Act, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SECTION 1. Authority to Correct Clerical or Typographical Error and Change of First Name or Nickname. – No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected without a judicial order, except for clerical or typographical errors and change of first name or nickname, the day and month in the date of birth or sex of a person where it is patently clear that there was a clerical or typographical error or mistake in the entry, which can be corrected or changed by the concerned city or municipal civil registrar or consul general in accordance with the provisions of this Act and its implementing rules and regulations.”

SEC. 2. Section 2, paragraph (3) of the Act is likewise amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 2. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the following terms shall mean:

(1) xxx xxx

(2) xxx xxx

(3) ‘Clerical or typographical error’ refers to a mistake committed in the performance of clerical work in writing, copying, transcribing or typing an entry in the civil register that is harmless and innocuous, such as misspelled name or misspelled place of birth, mistake in the entry of day and month in the date of birth or the sex of the person or the like, which is visible to the eyes or obvious to the understanding, and can be corrected or changed only by reference to other existing record or records: Provided, however, That no correction must involve the change of nationality, age, or status of the petitioner.”

SEC. 3. Section 5 of the Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 5. Form and Contents of the Petition. – The petition for correction of a clerical or typographical error, or for change of first name or nickname, as the case may be, shall be in the form of an affidavit, subscribed and sworn to before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The affidavit shall set forth facts necessary to establish the merits of the petition and shall show affirmatively that the petitioner is competent to testify to the matters stated. The petitioner shall state the particular erroneous entry or entries, which are sought to be corrected and/or the change sought to be made.

The petition shall be supported with the following documents:

(1) A certified true machine copy of the certificate or of the page of the registry book containing the entry or entries sought to be corrected or changed;

(2) At least two (2) public or private documents showing the correct entry or entries upon which the correction or change shall be based; and

(3) Other documents which the petitioner or the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general may consider relevant and necessary for the approval of the petition.

No petition for correction of erroneous entry concerning the date of birth or the sex of a person shall be entertained except if the petition is accompanied by earliest school record or earliest school documents such as, but not limited to, medical records, baptismal certificate and other documents issued by religious authorities; nor shall any entry involving change of gender corrected except if the petition is accompanied by a certification issued by an accredited government physician attesting to the fact that the petitioner has not undergone sex change or sex transplant. The petition for change of first name or nickname, or for correction of erroneous entry concerning the day and month in the date of birth or the sex of a person, as the case may be, shall be published at least once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.

Furthermore, the petitioner shall submit a certification from the appropriate law enforcements, agencies that he has no pending case or no criminal record.

The petition and its supporting papers shall be filed in three (3) copies to be distributed as follows: first copy to the concerned city or municipal civil registrar, or the consul general; second copy to the Office of the Civil Registrar General; and third copy to the petitioner.”

SEC. 4. Section 8 of the Act is hereby amended to read as follows:

“SEC. 8. Payment of Fees. – The city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general shall be authorized to collect reasonable fees as a condition for accepting the petition. An indigent petitioner shall be exempt from the payment of the said fee.

The fees collected by the city or municipal civil registrar or the consul general pursuant to this Act shall accrue to the funds of the Local Civil Registry Office concerned or the Office of the Consul General for modernization of the office and hiring of new personnel and procurement of supplies, subject to government accounting and auditing rules.”

SEC. 5. Separability Clause. – If any provision of this Act shall at any time be found to be unconstitutional or invalid, the remainder thereof not affected by such declaration shall remain in full force and effect.

SEC. 6. Repealing Clause. – Anylaws, decrees, rules or regulations inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed or modified accordingly.

SEC. 7. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

This Act which is a consolidation of Senate Bill No. 3113 and House Bill No. 4530 was finally passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 30, 2012 and June 5, 2012, respectively.

                                            

LOCAL VITAL STATISTICS DOCUMENTS & ERRORS:  SEVERAL OF OUR MEMBERS HAVE FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY THAT ERRORS ON BIRTH CERTIFICATES, MARRIAGE CONTRACTS AND DEATH CERTIFICATES CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE AND TIME CONSUMING… DATES AND SPELLING ON BIRTH CERTIFICATES AND MARRIAGE CONTRACTS SEEMS TO BE MOST OF THE PROBLEMS WHILE NATIONALITY SEEMS TO BE THE MAJOR PROBLEM IN DEATH CERTIFICATES… NEED TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO DETAILS BEFORE THESE DOCUMENTS ARE SUBMITTED TO THE REGISTRAR FOR PERMANENT RECORDS… THE U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA WILL NOT ACCEPT DOCUMENTS WILL ERRORS AND IT’S USUALLY A WASTE OF TIME  & MONEY TRAVELING TO MANILA UNTIL CORRECTED…

 

MILITARY RECORDS:  IF YOU WERE PREVIOUSLY TOLD THAT YOUR MILITARY RECORDS WERE DESTROYED IN THE 1973 FIRE, MANY DUPLICATE RECORDS HAVE BEEN FOUND... CONTACT US FOR APPLICATION FORMS… (LLAFB)...

 

ON LINE PERSONNEL RECORD REQUEST (ALMOST):  THE FOLLOWING DATA EXPLAINS HOW WE CAN GET COPIES OF OUR MILITARY RECORDS; HOWEVER, ONCE YOU PULL UP THE WEB SITE, YOU STILL MUST DOWNLOAD A SIGNATURE FORM, SIGN AND MAIL OR FAX TO THE RECORDS CENTER... RECOMMEND YOU FAX... THE FAX NUMBER AND ADDRESS WILL BE PRINTED OUT AUTOMATICALLY WHEN YOU DOWNLOAD THE SIGNATURE FORM...

“Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now request copies of military personnel records online from the National Personnel Records Center.  The new Web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating records mailroom processing time. Also, because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays that normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized. Veterans and next of kin (a surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother) may access the application at http://vetrecs.archives.gov.  (There is no requirement to type "www" in front of the web address.) Individuals, other than veterans or next of kin, with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180 which can be downloaded from the site.”

 

NEED A COPY OF YOUR DD FORM 214???  YOU WILL SOONER LATER…  MUST HAVE A DD FORM 214 WHEN YOU REQUEST AN ID CARD,  SOCIAL SECURITY, VA BENEFITS AND WE  EVEN NEED A COPY WHEN YOU PASS ON…  SEND YOUR REQUEST TO:   NPRC/NCPMF-C, 9700 PAGE  BLVD. ST. LOUIS,  MO  63132-5000....   A SIGNED REQUEST WITH FULL NAME, RETIRED GRADE, SSAN AND AN  EXPLANATION OF YOUR NEEDS  (BRIEF)…   SUGGEST  YOU  REQUEST A COPY OF ALL YOUR DD FORM 214'S....   IF  YOU RECEIVE VA DISABILITY, A COPY MAY BE ON FILE AT  THE  VA OFFICE AT THE U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA...  FORMS TO REQUEST MILITARY RECORDS ARE AVAILABLE  AT  THE  RAO.....

BIRTH CERTIFICATE:  GOING TO NEED ONE WHEN YOU APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AT THE EMBASSY…  MUST BE  A  CERTIFIED  TRUE  COPY/RAISED SEAL (NOT A XEROX)...  WE HAVE THE ADDRESS LIST OF VITAL RECORD OFFICES BY STATE/TERRITORY AND COST PER  COPY..   DROP BY THE RAO ON YOUR DAY OFF....

 

EMBASSY HOLIDAYS:  BEFORE GOING TO THE EMBASSY, BEST TO LOOK AT YOUR CALENDAR…  OF COURSE, THE EMBASSY IS CLOSED ON AMERICAN HOLIDAYS; HOWEVER, THEY ARE ALSO CLOSED ON PHILIPPINE NATIONAL HOLIDAYS…  THE HOURS AT THE EMBASSY RE FROM 0730 TO 1630 HRS DAILY MON THRU FRI; HOWEVER, BEST NOT TO WAIT NEAR CLOSING TIME TO CONDUCT BUSINESS OR YOU MAY BE INSTRUCTED TO COME BACK THE NEXT DUTY DAY…  WE HAVE COMMON USE EMBASSY FORMS AT THE RAO OR YOU CAN CALL THE EMBASSY AND THEY WILL MAIL UNLESS THERE IS A REQUIREMENT TO COMPLETE THE FORM IN THEIR PRESENCE…

AFFIDAVIT OF LEGAL CAPACITY: SEE U.S. EMBASSY WEB http://manilausembassy.gov FOR APPOINTMENTS…

 

APPLICATION FOR A MARRIAGE CONTRACT:  NEED TO SEE “LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR” PROVIDE A COPY OF THE AFFIDAVIT OF LEGAL CAPACITY AND IDENTIFICATION…  IF THE FILIPINA/O IS UNDER TWENTY ONE YEARS OF AGE, THE PARENTS WILL NEED TO BE PRESENT/LETTER OF CONSENT…  IF UNDER TWENTY FIVE YEARS OF AGE, PARENTAL ADVICE IS REQUIRED… THEN, YOU WILL HAVE A TEN DAY WAIT UNTIL A JUDGEMENT/PRIEST CAN PERFORM THE CEREMONY…  NOW YOU ARE OWN  YOUR OWN…

 

MARRIAGE IN THE PHILIPPINES:  WE GET A LOT OF E-MAIL AND QUESTIONS ON MARRIAGE & VISA REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PHILIPPINES…  HOPE THE FOLLOWING WILL BE HELPFUL…  WHEN ONE STEPS OFF AIRPLANE/SHIP/GANDOLA, ONES FIRST OBSERVATION WILL USUALLY FOCUS ON ALL THE BEAUTIFUL FILIPINAS AND OUR ISLAND PARADISE… AFTER A FEW WEEKS, ONE USUALLY DECIDES TO STAY OR TAKE PART OF PARADISE UPON DEPARTURE… IF YOU DECIDE TO MARRY A FILIPINA/O, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS ONE SHOULD KNOW AND A VISIT TO OUR OFFICE WOULD BE A GOOD START…

 

PREMARITAL (PRE NUPTIAL) AGREEMENT:  IF YOU/YOUR FUTURE SPOUSE ARE INTERESTED IN A PREMARITAL AGREEMENT TO PROTECT YOUR ASSETS, THIS IS AUTHORIZED IN THE PHILIPPINES… OUR ATTORNEY ON RETAINER OR ANY OTHER LAW OFFICE CAN PREPARE THE LEGAL AGREEMENT… COST IS AROUND $30.00 OR LESS AND COULD SAVE YOU A BUNDLE IN CASE EVERYTHING DOES NOT WORK OUT AS PLANNED… WOULD LIKE ALL OUR RETIREES/AMERICAN CITIZENS TO DROP BY THE OFFICE FOR A BRIEFING ON CONTRACT MARRIAGE PROCEDURES IN THE PHILIPPINES AND TO DISCUSS THE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR NEW FAMILY (SS, VA, DOD, IRS, VISA DATA, ETC.)…

 

INTERNET CONNECTIONS:  MANY MORE PLAYERS TO SELECT FROM, COST IS DECREASING AND SERVICE IS IMPROVING... NOTHING LIKE COMPETITION... SHOULD SHOP AROUND, DECIDE IF YOU NEED A HIGH SPEED CABLE OR ROUTINE SERVICE AND SELECT THE ONE THAT BEST FITS YOUR BUDGET/NEEDS...

 

NEWBORNS & EMBASSY DOCUMENTATION:  WHEN YOUR NEW ADDITIONS ARRIVE, IT'S PAPERWORK TIME ALSO…  ON YOUR NEXT DAY OFF, DROP  BY  THE  RAO FOR YOUR REPORT OF BIRTH ABROAD AND PASSPORT APPLICATION(S)… AFTER YOU FINISH THIS LITTLE TASK, TIME FOR A TRIP TO IMMIGRATIONS (PI)...  VERY IMPORTANT TO OBTAIN CERTIFICATE OF RECOGNITION FOR THE CHILD AND THAT IS VALID FOR THE REST OF HER/HIS LIFE CITIZEN PRIVILEGES)...  NOW YOU ARE READY FOR A DEERS UPDATE, TO NOTIFY DFAS (SBP) OF THE NEW ADDITION AND HAPPY HOUR.  NOW THAT DIDN'T HURT TOO MUCH, RIGHT?? ALL PHILIPPINE DOCUMENTS MUST BE FROM THE NSO…

BOTH PARENTS’ CONSENT REQUIRED FOR NEW CHILDREN’S PASSPORT LAW:  THE STATE DEPARTMENT NOW REQUIRES BOTH PARENTS’ CONSENT TO OBTAIN PASSPORTS OF CHILDREN UNDER 14 EFFECTIVE 2 JULY 2001, INTENT OF THE LAW IS TO LESSEN THE CHANCE THAT PARENTS CAN ABDUCT THEIR CHILDREN AND USE U.S. PASSPORTS TO DEPART THE COUNTRY... BOTH PARENTS MUST NOW SIGN CHILDREN’S PASSPORT APPLICATION FORMS, UNLESS ONE PARENT IS UNAVAILABLE BECAUSE OF GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, DIVORCE OR OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES...

 

WIDOW(ER) OF A U.S. CITIZEN:   YOU CAN  FILE  AN  IMMIGRATION PETITION ON YOUR OWN BEHALF  IF  MARRIED AT TIME OF DEATH:

  • HIS/HER DEATH WAS LESS THAN TWO YEARS AGO....

  • YOU WERE NOT LEGALLY SEPARATED FROM SAID SPOUSE AT THE TIME OF DEATH AND YOU HAVE NOT REMARRIED...  NEED  A  COPY OF  THE  MARRIAGE CONTRACT AND PROOF THAT YOUR SPOUSE WAS A U.S. CITIZEN AND A DEATH  CERTIFICATE…  IF  YOU QUALIFY, PROCEED TO THE U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA, GATE 3, WINDOW 35, MON-FRI... DROP BY THE RAO FOR  FURTHER  DETAILS..

FUNERAL HOMES:  THE SELECTION OF A FUNERAL HOME IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YOUR FAMILY FINANCIALLY...  PLAN AHEAD AND INSTRUCT YOUR SPOUSE TO CONTACT US BEFORE MAKING ANY SELECTION OF FUNERAL HOMES...  MOST  ALL THESE FUNERAL HOME PROVIDE  SIMILAR SERVICE;  HOWEVER, SOME WILL CHARGE YOU TWO OR THREE TIMES MORE THAN YOU SHOULD PAY.... SHOP AROUND BEFORE YOUR FINAL PCS OR INSTRUCT YOUR SPOUSE TO SEE US...  WE WILL ALSO SEE THAT YOUR SPOUSE WILL RECEIVE CASUALTY ASSISTANCE SUPPORT AND ALL BENEFITS DUE…  GOOD TO PLAN AHEAD...WE HAVE A CASUALTY ASSISTANCE  CHECKLIST AT OUT OFFICE..  DROP BY ON YOUR NEXT DAY OFF

LIVE IN PARTNERS & RESPONSIBILITY:  WE HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS INVOLVING LIVE IN PARTNERS AND CHILDREN UPON SUDDEN DEATH OF RETIREES… MOST OF THE TIME THESE CHILDREN HAVE NOT BEEN REGISTERED WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY AND ARE DEPRIVED OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP… ANOTHER PROBLEM IS WILLS, FUNDS FOR THE FUNERAL AND CONTINUED SUPPORT OF YOUR LIVE IN PARTNER/CHILDREN… MOST OF THESE PROBLEMS COULD BE REDUCED OR ELIMINATED IF ONE PLANS AHEAD… IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE HER/CHILDREN TAKEN CARE OF AFTER YOUR FINAL PCS, YOUR RAO IS AVAILABLE TO HELP WITH THAT PLANNING… FIRST, WE NEED TO GET THE CHILDREN REGISTERED WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY… WE HAVE THE FORMS AND CAN HELP WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE… THIS WILL ENABLE YOUR CHILDREN TO RECEIVE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS UNTIL 18 YEARS OF AGE IN MOST CASES AND THE VA MAY ALSO BE ABLE TO HELP DEPENDING ON YOUR STATUS… WITH DEERS ENROLLMENT TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR MEDICAL NEEDS/FUNDS COMING IN FOR SCHOOL/LIVING EXPENSES AND A U.S. PASSPORT, THE CHILDREN WILL HAVE BRIGHT FUTURE... IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET MARRIED TO THE MOTHER OF THE CHILDREN, THERE WILL BE VA BENEFITS AND MEDICAL CARE (DEERS) FOR THE REST FO HER LIFE UNLESS SHE REMARRIES… IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THE IDEA OF MARRIAGE, YOU SHOULD AT LEAST PLAN ON INSURANCE AND A WILL THAT WILL ALLOW HER TO HAVE SELECTED ASSETS AND MAKE DECISIONS CONCERNING YOUR FUNERAL… ALSO SHOULD PLAN AHEAD FOR FUNERAL EXPENSES… YOU CAN PURCHASE INSURANCE OR MAKE PAYMENTS DIRECTLY TO ONE OF OUR FUNERAL HOMES… SHOULD NOT LEAVE YOUR LIVE IN PARTNER WITH BILLS AND WITHOUT MEANS OF GIVING YOU A PROPER FUNERAL… SEEMS ONLY FAIR IF THE LADY IS WILLING TO TAKE CARE OF YOU DURING YOUR LIFE, YOU SHOULD MAKE PLANS HER FUTURE…

GETTING READY TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS???  OF COURSE YOU WILL NEED TO PROVIDE A FEW DOCUMENTS… THE SS OFFICE AT THE U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA IS AVAILABLE BETWEEN MON-FRI EXCEPT AMERICAN AND PHILIPPINE HOLIDAYS… BEST TO GET THERE AROUND 0800 WHILE THE ON LINE COMPUTER IS UP AND BRING THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS (IF YOU HAVE):

  • SOCIAL SECURITY CARD

  • ALL DD FORMS 214 (IF YOU HAD PRIOR MILITARY SERVICE)

  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE

  • MARRIAGE CONTRACT (IF APPLICABLE)

  • BIRTH CERTIFICATE OF MINOR CHILDREN (IF APPLICABLE)

  • TWO PASSPORT PHOTOS

  • IF YOU HAVE REMARRIED, A COPY OF YOUR DIVORCE(S)

  • BLANK CHECK FOR DIRECT DEPOSIT DATA (IF YOU PLAN TO USE THE SAME BANK)

  • SS EARNING STATEMENT

  • LAST W-2 OR LAST TAX RETURN IF SELF EMPLOYED

*  ALWAYS TAKE YOUR PASSPORT WHEN VISITING THE EMBASSY…

 

WHEN TO APPLY:  AGE 62 APPLICANTS; TWO MONTHS IN ADVANCE… IF DISABLED OR A WIDOW WITH MINOR CHILDREN, YOU CAN APPLY ANYTIME…

 

SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE PART B:  IF YOU ARE A MILITARY RETIREE/DEP/WIDOW AND OVER 65 YEARS OF AGE, YOU MUST BE ENROLLED IN PART B MEDICARE TO RECEIVE FULL TRICARE FOR LIFE BENEFITS... SOME WIDOWS/DEPENDENTS HAVE ENCOUNTERED PROBLEMS IN BEING ALLOWED TO ENROLL IN MEDICARE PART B UNLESS THEY WERE U.S. CITIZENS OR MET THE 5 YEARS RESIDENT REQUIREMENT IN THE UNITED STATES...THERE IS A WAY AROUND THIS PROBLEMS; IF YOU WOULD HAVE NORMALLY BEEN ELIGIBLE FOR SOCIAL SECURITY VIA YOUR SPOUSE ELIGIBILITY EXCEPT FOR RESIDENT REQUIREMENT; YOU SHOULD CONTACT OUR SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE, U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS (WITHOUT PAYMENT)... ONCE APPROVED, YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENROLLED IN MEDICARE PART A (FREE) AND THEN BE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR MEDICARE PART B... SHOULD YOU ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS WHILE AT THE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE CONCERNING THIS SUBJECT, PLEASE ASK THE CLERK TO CHECK WITH MR. THOMAS ASHLEY, SS CHIEF... IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS WITHOUT PAYMENT, REQUEST A “NOTICE OF DISALLOWANCE” FROM SOCIAL SECURITY WHICH WILL ALLOW YOU TO CONTINUE TRICARE WITHOUT MEDICARE PART B AND THEN SEE ME...

 

SOCIAL SECURITY CREDITS FOR MILITARY SERVICE:  PEOPLE WHO SERVED IN THE MILITARY BEFORE 1957 DID NOT PAY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY DIRECTLY, BUT WHEN THEY APPLY FOR BENEFITS, THEIR RECORDS ARE CREDITED WITH SPECIAL EARNINGS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY PURPOSES THAT COUNT TOWARD ANY BENEFITS THAT MAY BE PAYABLE... IN JAN 2002 THE DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT (PUBLIC LAW 107-117), STOPPED THE SPECIAL EXTRA EARNINGS THAT HAVE BEEN CREDITED TO MILITARY SERVICE PERSONNEL... MILITARY SERVICE IN 2002 AND FUTURE YEARS NO LONGER QUALIFIES FOR THESE SPECIAL EXTRA EARNINGS... QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE SOCIAL SECURITY CREDIT ARE AS FOLLOWS:  A.  SERVICE FROM 1978 THRU 2001:  FOR EVERY $300 IN ACTIVE DUTY BASIC PAY, YOU ARE CREDITED WITH AN ADDITIONAL $100 IN EARNINGS UP TO A MAXIMUM OF $1200 PER YEAR;  B.  SERVICE FROM 1957 THRU 1977:  YOU ARE CREDITED WITH $300 IN ADDITIONAL EARNINGS FOR EACH QUARTER IN WHICH YOU RECEIVED ACTIVE DUTY PAY;  C.  SERVICE FROM 1940- THRU 1958:  UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES YOU MAY BE CREDITED WITH $160 A MONTH IN EARNINGS FOR MILITARY SERVICE... FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CHECK WITH SOCIAL SECURITY OR GO TO WEB SITE:   http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov HAVE YOUR DD 214 AVAILABLE.. SOURCE:  MCGUIRE AFB.

 

ANNUAL ALLIEN REGISTRATION:  IF YOU ARE A PERMANENT RESIDENT LIVING IN THE PHILIPPINES, NEED TO VISIT THE LOCAL IMMIGRATION OFFICE PRIOR TO 02 MAR EACH YEAR....

 

OFFICIAL  EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS:  EVEN WITHOUT BASES AND THE AMERICAN RED CROSS HERE IN THE PI ANYMORE, SHOULD CONTACT THE PHILIPPINE RED CROSS WHO WILL WORK WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS TO ASSIST...

SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS:  WE PROBABLY HAVE MORE SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS THAN MOST AMERICAN TOWNS…  HAVE TWO AMERICANS LEGIONS (POST 10 & 123), VFW POST 2485 WITH AROUND ONE THOUSAND MEMBERS, DAV, BEAGLES (DOG HOUSE), MASONIC LODGE, FLEET RESERVE, SPECIAL FORCES ORGANIZATION AND MANY OTHERS… I MUST SAY THAT SOME OF THESE ORGANIZATION SERVE THE BEST SOS IN TOWN AND MANY AMERICAN/INT’L FAVORITES… THIS MUST BE ONE OF THE FEW LOCATIONS OVERSEAS WHERE JUST ABOUT EVERYONE SPEAKS ENGLISH, SIGNS ARE IN ENGLISH AND THE NEWSPAPERS ARE EVEN PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH… WITH REGIONAL VA SERVICES, FULL SERVICE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE AND GREAT EMBASSY SUPPORT WHO COULD ASK FOR MORE… I CALL THIS LITTLE AMERICAN AT 1980 PRICES…

​​

PROBLEM; WHO TO CONTACT:  IF YOU NEED HELP, IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO START AT THE CORRECT OFFICE; THEN IF YOU STILL HAVE PROBLEMS CONTACT THE RAO...

 

REQUIREMENT                                                                     CONTACT                                                    THEN PROCEED TO:

                   

 

PASSPORT FORMS & INSTRUCTIONS                                    RAO                                                          ACS U.S. EMBASSY

PETITION FOR ALIEN FIANCÉ(E) FORMS                                RAO                                                          INS U.S. EMBASSY

PETITION FOR ALIEN RELATIVE(S) FORMS                            RAO                                                          INS U.S. EMBASSY

U.S. CITIZENSHIP FOR NEWBORNS

(AMCIT) FORMS & CHECKLIST                                                RAO

CHAMPUS/TRICARE CLAIM FORMS                                        RAO                                                           ACS U.S. EMBASSY

DIRECT DEPOSIT FORMS FOR OUT                        

OF COUNTRY BANKS                                                               RAO

MEDICAL CARE AT OUR CHAMPUS                                        HMO OR EMERGENCY

PARTICIPATING HOSPITAL, AUFMC, ANGELES CITY            ROOM

HMO OR EMERGENCY ROOM

EMERGENCY VA SERVICE CONNECTED                               EMERGENCY ROOM

MEDICAL CARE AUFMC

ROUTINE VA SERVICE CONNECTED                                     VA CLINIC, MANILA

MEDICAL CARE  

SBP                                                                                            DFAS

FPO (POST OFFICE)                                                                 RAO

MILITARY ID CARDS FOR RETIREES,

DEPENDENTS & WIDOWS(ER)                                                  RAO

CASUALTY REPORTING/ASSISTANCE                                    RAO

DFAS PAY PROBLEMS THAT YOU

CANNOT RESOLVE                                                                   RAO

ROUTINE DFAS TRANSACTIONS                                             DFAS

U.S. EMBASSY WARDEN                                                           RAO

VOTING INFORMATION & FORMS                                           RAO

IRS FORMS & INSTRUCTIONS                                                  RAO

ADDRESS FOR VITAL RECORDS                                              RAO

SOCIAL SECURITY                                                                    SSA, U.S. EMBASSY

DIRECT DEPOSIT (LOCAL):  SEE OUR                                                                                                          LOCAL BANK

NEWSLETTER                                                                           

 

VA PAY PROBLEMS                                                                  VA, MANILA                                                                 

ATM CARDS:  SEE OUR NEWSLETTER                                                                                                          LOCAL BANK

 

                                                                       

JOIN THE U.S. MILITARY                                                           RAO

ATTORNEY ON RETAINER                                                        RAO

SPACE A TRAVEL DATA                                                           09209705030

 

                                                                                                   VFW, AMERICAN LEGION

HUNGRY/THIRSTY                                                                     POST 123, 10, FRA & DOG HOUSE

PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THIEVES:  USAF AND SOCIAL SECURITY HAS PUBLISHED THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES ON HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IDENTITY THIEVES (SEE GUIDELINE BELOW)... SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL IN PROVIDING YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER AND OTHER PERSONAL DATA TO UNAUTHORIZED PEOPLE... THEY NOT ONLY STEAL YOUR IDENTITY BUT SUBMIT FRAUDULENT CLAIMS AGAINST TRICARE/CHAMPVA... ALL DATA PROVIDED TO OUR OFFICE IS PROTECTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE U.S. PRIVACY ACT...

***

“Thieves steal your money and possessions, and perhaps the most valuable asset that can be stolen -- your own identity. When a thief has your personal information, it can be easy to use your good name and make your record go bad.  The Social Security Administration warns everybody to be careful with anything that contains your name, birth date, Social Security number and account numbers as these are the tools of the identity thief. Thieves get your information by stealing your wallet or purse, taking mail from your mailbox or trash, intercepting unsecured Internet transactions, posing as someone who needs the information (like a landlord or employer) or buying information from inside sources.

Officials point out that there are steps you can take to prevent identity theft:

* Keep your Social Security card in a safe place -- don't carry it with you unless you need it.

* Shred any paperwork that has your Social Security number on it before throwing it away.

* Keep your information out of the hands of the enemy.

For more information on identity theft, visit the Social Security web page at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/idtheft.htm.

UPDATE ON IDENTITY THEFT:  THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION REPORTS THAT THE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT IDENTITY THEFT (ID) JUMPED 15% FROM 2004 AND REPRESENTS ABOUT 40% OF ALL COMPLAINTS... CRIMINALS HAVE SEIZED ON ELECTRONIC FUNDS TRANSFERS AS A NEW METHOD OF PICK-POCKETING CONSUMERS, PERHAPS BOLSTERED BY THE SUCCESS OF SO-CALLED “PHISHING” ATTACKS DESIGNED TO TRICK CONSUMERS INTO DIVULGING PERSONAL INFORMATION THROUGH HACKER-CONTROLLED WEB SITES... COMPLAINTS ABOUT FRAUDULENT TAX RETURNS ALSO DOUBLED FROM 2002 TO 2004, PERHAPS SUGGESTING MORE IMPOSTERS ARE USING SOMEONE ELSE’S SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER TO OBTAIN WORK.. THE FTC SUGGESTS IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO IGNORE SPAM... ABOUT ONE THIRD OF THE TIME CON ARTISTS INITIALLY CONTACTED THEIR VICTIMS THROUGH E-MAIL... THE DO NOT CALL LIST MAY BE HAVING A POSITIVE IMPACT ON TELEPHONE RELATED FRAUD.. ONLY ABOUT 16% OF INITIAL PHONE CONTACTS HAS COME FROM PHONE SOLICITATION, DOWN FROM 20% IN 2003... THE HARDEST HIT AREAS WERE WASHINGTON, DC, SAN JOSE-SUNNYVALE-SANTA CLARA AREAS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, AND LAS VEGAS, NV.

12 TIPS TO PREVENT IDENTITY THEFT:

  • MAKE SURE YOUR CHECKS ARRIVE IN THE MAIL PROMPTLY.IF YOU HAVEN’T RECEIVED IN A REASONABLE TIME PERIOD, THEY MAY HAVE BEEN STOLEN.

  • DO NOT HAVE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY OR DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBER PRINTED ON YOUR CHECKS.. THE NUMBERS, ALONG WITH OTHER PERSONAL INFORMATION, WILL GIVE A THIEF ALL THE NECESSARY FACTS TO APPLY FOR A LOAN, CREDIT CARD, OR BANK ACCOUNT IN YOUR NAME.

  • WHEN WRITING CHECKS, DO NOT LEAVE BLANK SPACES ON THE LINES DESIGNATING THE PAYEE AND THE AMOUNT.... WRITE WORDS CLOSE TOGETHER, AVOID ABBREVIATIONS, AND DRAW LINES TO FILL ANY GAPS..

  • WHEN WRITING CHECKS TO PAY ON A CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT, DO NOT PUT THE COMPLETE CARD NUMBER ON THE “FOR” LINE.INSTEAD, PUT ONLY THE LAST FOUR ACCOUNT NUMBERS.

  • DON’T PUT BILLS IN YOUR MAIL BOX... TAKE THEM TO THE POST OFFICE, OR PUT THEM IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD MAILBOXES.

  • DON’T WRITE YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER ON SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON A CHECK TO A MERCHANT, EVEN IF THE MERCHANT ASKS FOR HTIS INFORMATION.

  • TRY TO USE YOUR OWN PREPRINTED DEPOSIT SLIPS, OR AT LEAST MAKE SURE THE DEPOSIT SLIPS IN A BANK LOBBY DON’T HAVE SOMEONE ELSE’S ACCOUNT NUMBER ALREADY WRITTEN OR PRINTED ON THEM.

  • DON’T THROW AWAY OLD PAPERS, CANCELLED CHECKS, BANK STATEMENTS, ETC.SHRED OR BURN THEM.

  • PLACE THE CONTENTS OF YOUR WALLET ON A COPY MACHINE AND COPY BOTH SIDES OF EACH LICENSE, CREDIT CARD, ETC.KEEP THE PHOTOCOPY IN A SAFE PLACE.

  • IF YOUR WALLET OR PURSE IS STOLEN, FILE A POLICE REPORT IN THE JURISDICTION WHERE THE CRIME HAPPENED... CANCEL YOUR CREDIT CARDS IMMEDIATELY...

 

PICKPOCKETS:  YES, WE DO HAVE PROBLEMS AND ESPECIALLY WITH  MEMBERS WHO USE JEEPS  (JITNEYS) FOR TRANSPORTATION… WE HAVE SOME OF THE MOST PROFESSIONAL PICKPOCKETS OUTSIDE OF MANILA AND THEY WILL USE THEIR SKILLS IF GIVEN THE CHANCE…  BEST TO CARRY YOUR VALUABLES IN A MONEY POUCH (SECURE) OR IN YOUR FRONT POCKETS…  ALSO SHOULD NOT CARRY YOUR PASSPORT, ID CARDS OR CREDIT/ATM CARDS UNLESS YOU PLAN TO USE THAT DAY…  FOR HOSPITAL & IMMIGRATION PURPOSES, XEROX COPIES OF DOCUMENTS ARE SUFFICIENT…  ANY LOST SHOULD BE REPORTED TO THE LOCAL POLICE AND OBTAIN A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT…  SOMETIMES THE PICKPOCKETS WILL CONTACT YOU AND ADVISE  THEY HAVE   F O U N D   YOUR WALLET/PURSE AND OF COURSE THEY WOULD LIKE A REWARD…  USUALLY GET BACK MOST OF YOUR PAPERS; HOWEVER, THE MONEY OR ANYTHING OF VALUE WILL BE MISSING…  THEY USUALLY WILL SETTLE FOR  A FOUR-FIVE HUNDRED PESO REWARD…  BE SURE TO REPORT YOUR MISSING DOCUMENTS TO THE APPROPRIATE AGENCY IMMEDIATELY… WE CAN PROVIDE THE REQUIRED PASSPORT FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS AND PROCESS YOUR ID CARD APPLICATION….   IF YOU USE THE JEEPS ON A REGULAR BASIS, MIGHT BE A GOOD IDEA TO KEEP A DECOY WALLET IN YOUR REAR POCKET…  MAYBE THE PICKPOCKET WILL THINK THEY STRUCK GOLD AND LEAVE THE OTHER POCKETS ALONE… COULD ALSO INCLUDE A SYMPATHETIC NOTE WITH A TELEPHONE NUMBER  (LOCAL POLICE STATION)….

***HAVE MORE REPORTS OF PICKPOCKETS POSING AS PASSENGERS ON JEEPS PRIMARILY TO FLEECE FOREIGNERS… THESE PICKPOCKETS USUALLY WORK IN PAIRS, WILL TRY TO SIT ON EACH SIDE OF THEIR VICTIM AND MAY USE A NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE TO HIDE THEIR ACTIONS… WALLETS IN THE BACK POCKETS ARE AN INVITATION FOR PICKPOCKETS AND BEST TO CARRY ANY VALUABLES IN YOUR FRONT POCKETS AND REMAIN ALERT… NEED TO AVOID CARRYING ANY UNNECESSARY VALUABLES/CARDS AND STORE IN A SAFE PLACE… IF STOLEN, BE SURE TO REPORT ALL CREDIT CARDS IMMEDIATELY AND SEE US FOR LOST MILITARY ID/PASSPORT IF IN THIS AREA... SHOULD ALWAYS REPORT THE LOSS TO THE LOCAL POLICE AND GET A COPY OF THE POLICE REPORT…

HUSTLERS IN AND AROUND FIELD AVENUE (ANGELES CITY):  ACCORDING TO REPORTS, SEVERAL FOREIGN TOURIST HAVE BEEN TRICKED BY PASSENGER TRICYCLE DRIVERS, TAKEN TO MARISOL VILLAGE TO LOOSE MONEY IN CARD GAMES... THEY EVEN MAKE SOME TOURIST SIGN PROMISSORY NOTES AND TRY TO EMPTY THEIR ATM ACCOUNTS... IF A TRICYCLE DRIVER TRIES TO TAKE YOU ANYWHERE YOU DON’T WANT TO GO, GET AWAY ASAP AND REPORT TO THE CLOSEST POLICE STATION... BEST TO AVOID THIS MODE OF TRANSPORTATION UNLESS YOU PERSONALLY KNOW THE DRIVER OR RECOMMENDED BY A FRIEND... UNDERAGE PICK-UP GIRLS:  PICK UP GIRLS SHOULD BE AVOIDED... LOT OF 16 YEAR OLD MAY LOOK OVER 18; HOWEVER, IF YOU ARE NOT SURE THAT COULD BE AN ENTRAPMENT OPEARATION OR EXTORTATION PLOT... LOT OF CASES WHERE TOURIST DID NOT CHECK THE AGE AND A FEW HOURS LATER THE EXTORTATION PARTY CAME KNOCKING ON THEIR DOOR... LOT OF CON GAMES AROUND AND IF YOU ARE GOING TO PARTY, BEST TO STICK TO THE BARS WHICH ARE REGULATED BY THE CITY....

 

BEWARE OF SWINDLERS:  THERE HAS BEEN SEVERAL CASES RECENTLY… TYPICAL CASES ARE TO USE THE NAME OF WELL KNOWN AMERICANS IN THE AREA ASK OTHER AMERICANS TO ADVANCE THEM A SMALL AMOUNT OF MONEY SO THEY CONTINUE REPAIRS ON AN APPLIANCE ITEMS/CAR…  OF COURSE, HE WILL REASSURE HIS INTENDED VICTIM THAT OWNER OF THE APPLIANCE/CAR WILL REPAY WHEN HE RETURNS… IN OTHER CASES, THEY CONTACT THE HOUSEHOLD HELP/WIFE AND TRY TO COLLECT FOR WORK THE BILL…  TO AVOID THESE TYPE OF PROBLEMS, YOU SHOULD INSTRUCT YOUR HOUSEHOLD HELP TO ONLY PAY ROUTINE BILLS TO PEOPLE THEY DEAL WITH ON A REGULAR BASIS AND T COORDINATE ALL OTHER PAYMENTS WITH YOU… IN GENERAL, YOU SHOULD NOT TRUST STRANGERS ASKING FOR MONEY UNLESS YOU ARE FEELING VERY CHARITABLE…

 

HOME SWEET HOME:  LAND PURCHASE IN THE PHILIPPINES IN MOST CASES IS A GOOD INVESTMENT; HOWEVER, THERE ARE PITFALLS  THAT ONE SHOULD BE AWARE  OF... IF YOU ARE  A FILIPINO CITIZEN  OR FORMER FILIPINO CITIZEN,  YOU ARE ALLOWED TO OWN LAND IN THE PI....  THE AMOUNT DEPENDS ON YOUR  CITIZENSHIP STATUS :   FORMER FILIPINOS ARE LIMITED TO 5000SM  OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OR THREE HECTARES OF FARMLAND.....  IN THE EVENT OF  DEATH,  LAND  CAN BE INHERITED BY THE  FOREIGN SPOUSE   PROVIDING  THERE  IS  A WILL;  HOWEVER, THE  FOREIGNER  IS  ONLY  AUTHORIZED  TO SELL THE PROPERTY TO A FILIPINO... THE NAME OF THE FOREIGN SPOUSE SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE TITLE... BEFORE ONE DECIDES TO PURCHASE  PROPERTY  IN THE PHILIPPINES, AN ATTORNEY   TO RESEARCH THE TITLE IS A MUST  OR YOU MAY  NOT  OWN THE  PROPERTY..... IF THE  PROPERTY IS FOR YOUR  HOME, BE SURE THAT ALL TENANTS ARE MOVED OUT PRIOR TO  PURCHASE;  OTHERWISE,  YOU MAY SPEND  YEARS  &  MONEY (LOTS)  TO GET THESE PEOPLE  OFF  YOUR  PROPERTY (NOT LIKE  U.S.  LAWS)... ALSO,  IF THE PROPERTY IS TO BE LEFT VACANT, YOU  MUST HIRE  A CARETAKER/GUARD  TO KEEP THE  SQUATTERS  OUT...  IF THEY  MOVE  IN,  YOU  HAVE   A  PROBLEM...  YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY TO GET THEM OFF YOUR PROPERTY AND THEN ONLY  IF THEY  AGREE  TO  GO...... THIS  IS  A  BIG  PROBLEM IN THE  PHILIPPINES;  EXAMPLE,  ABOUT  ONE THIRD  OF THE POPULATION OF  METRO  MANILA  ARE SQUATTERS  ACCORDING  TO  THE  NEWSPAPERS.....  LAST;  DO NOT  RELEASE  FUNDS  TO  THE  OWNER  UNTIL  ADVISED  BY  YOUR  ATTORNEY...

 

HOME SECURITY:  BREAK-INS ARE PART OF LIFE...  AS MOST ARE AWARE, WE HAD THIS PROBLEM WHEN CLARK AFB WAS HERE  AND WE CAN EXPECT THESE SAME TYPE PROBLEMS TO CONTINUE IN THE  FORESEEABLE FUTURE...  THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU CAN DO TO  SLOW DOWN THESE PEOPLE LIKE BUILDING A HIGHER FENCE WITH BARBED WIRE/BROKEN GLASS ON TOP OF THE WALL, A COUPLE OF GOOD  DOGS, TELEPHONE,  OUTSIDE  LIGHTS, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH PROGRAM, POSSIBLY SHARE A GUARD WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS AND GOOD  LUCK...  BE SURE  TO  REPORT  ALL TO THE POLICE AND GIVE ME A COPY OF THE REPORT...  ALL DATA RECEIVED WILL BE SHARED  WITH  THE  U.S. EMBASSY, MANILA....

MOVING  TO  ANGELES  CITY,  PI?:  MILITARY  RETIREES  &  ACTIVE DUTY  PERSONNEL  WHO  ARE PLANNING  ON  MOVING  TO  THE  PHILIPPINES  WITH 15 DAYS MAY  CHANGE  THEIR MAIL  ADDRESS  TO :

                                                                                                           NAME

                                                                                                PSC 517 BOX  R  C

                                                                                             FPO  AP  96517-1000

BE  ADVISED  THAT THIS  IS  A RESTRICTED FPO  AND  LIMITED TO 1ST CLASS MAIL  UNDER  16OZS  TO  INCLUDE TRICARE MAIL ORDER, PHARMACY PRESCRIPTIONS, BLANK CHECKS/ MAGAZINES/NEWSPAPERS/FAMILY VOICETAPES & HOME VIDEO’S (NO  MERCHANDISE)....   WE  CAN  ONLY  HOLD  YOUR  MAIL  FOR  15  DAYS...

 

RELOCATING TO THE PHILIPPINES:  WE RECEIVE A LOT OF E-MAIL ASKING QUESTIONS CONCERNING THIS SUBJECT AND HOPE THIS WILL ANSWER MOST QUESTIONS... VEHICLES:  DO NOT SHIP VEHICLES TO THE PHILIPPINES UNLESS YOU MEET THE BALIKBAYANS CRITERA OR WOULD LIKE TO PAY A VERY HEAVY CUSTOMS DUTY... NEW CARS ARE AVAILABLE HERE FROM $13,000.00 UP AND CAN PURCHASE A NEW VAN FOR LESS THAN $15,000.00... HOUSEHOLD GOODS:  IF YOU HAVE A PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA, THIS IS NOT TOO PAINFUL... CAN SHIP A LARGE CONTAINER VAN OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND THE CUSTOMS DUTIES IS USUALLY LESS THAN $1,000.00... JUST REMEMBER, WE DO NOT HAVE A SOFA AGREEMENT AND OUR VISITING FORCES AGREEMENT (VFA) DOES NOT MAKE REFERENCE TO RETIREES... LAND OWNERSHIP:  IF THE MEMBER IS A FORMER FILIPINO CITIZEN, HE/SHE IS ALLOWED TO OWN 5,000 SM OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY OR THREE HECTARES OF FARM LAND... OTHERS MUST RENT/LEASE; HOWEVER, MOST ANYONE CAN OWN A CONDO... BALIKBAYAN VISA:  WHEN TRAVELING WITH A FILIPINO OR FORMER FILIPINO SPOUSE, YOU ARE ALLOWED A ONE YEAR BALIKBAYAN VISA UPON ARRIVAL AT THE PORT OF ENTRY (FREE)... NOTE:  ONLY ONE BALIKBAYAN VISA AUTHORIZED PER YEAR...  PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA:  IF MARRIED TO A FILIPINO/FORMER FILIPINO CITIZEN, YOU ARE ALLOWED A PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA FOR YOURSELF AND MINOR CHILDREN... THE VISA CAN BE OBTAINED AT ANY PHILIPPINE EMBASSY/CONSULATE OR IN COUNTRY... LESS EXPENSIVE AND FASTER AT THE PI EMBASSY/CONSULATE... STUDENT VISA:  CAN BE OBTAINED AT ANY PHILIPPINE EMBASSY/CONSULATE IF YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY A LOCAL SCHOOL... NEW POLICY ALSO ALLOWS ONE TO CONVERT A CURRENT TOURIST VISA TO A STUDENT VISA WHILE IN COUNTRY... TOURIST VISA:  CAN ENTER THE COUNTRY ON YOUR U.S. PASSPORT AND WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE GRANTED A 21-DAY TOURIST VISA... THIS CAN BE RENEWED 59 DAYS AT A TIME UP TO A MAXIMUM OF ONE YEAR... MUST LEAVE THE COUNTRY AFTER ONE YEAR; HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT A BIG PROBLEM... EXAMPLE; ONE CAN GET AN INEXPENSIVE TICKET TO BANGKOK INCLUDING HOTEL ACCOMMODATION UP TO THREE DAYS FOR LESS THAN $300.00 AND RETURN TO THE PHILIPPINES FOR ANOTHER YEAR... MUST HAVE AN ONWARD TICKET... CAN ALSO OBTAIN A TOURIST VISA AT ANY PHILIPPINE EMBASSY/CONSULATE PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL IN THE PHILIPPINES... PHILIPPINE RETIREMENT AUTHORITY (PRA):  IF YOU DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ONE OF THE PERMANENT RESIDENT VISAS OR DO NOT LIKE THE TOURIST VISA POLICY, YOU CAN APPLY FOR A PRA VISA... NOT AS BAD AS IT MAY SOUND; YOU WILL NEED TO DEPOSIT THE MONEY IN A DESIGNATED PHILIPPINE BANKS; HOWEVER, YOU WILL RECEIVE MONTHLY INTEREST... CAN ALSO INVEST THE MONEY AFTER SIX MONTHS IN A BUSINESS OR PURCHASE A CONDO... IF YOU SHOULD DECIDE TO GET OUT OF THE PROGRAM, YOUR MONEY WILL BE REFUNDED (IF NOT INVESTED)... MOST RETIREES WOULD QUALIFY AND CAN OBTAIN AN INFORMATION PACKAGE BY FAXING (63 2) 848 1411... THIS PROGRAM WILL ALSO ALLOW YOU TO SHIP $7,000.00 OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS FREE OF CUSTOM DUTIES PLUS YOU DO NOT NEED AN EXIT VISA TO TRAVEL IN/OUT OF THE COUNTRY... I THINK THIS IS A VERY GOOD PROGRAM IF YOU HAVE AN EXTRA $50,000.00 THAT IS GATHERING DUST... PETS:  CAN USUALLY BRING YOUR PETS INTO THE PHILIPPINES WITHOUT PROBLEMS AND PICK UP IMMEDIATELY; HOWEVER, CHECK WITH YOUR TRAVEL AGENT FOR REQUIREMENTS... FPO:  MILITARY RETIREES AND RETIRING ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL WHO PLAN TO ARRIVE IN THE PHILIPPINES WITHIN 15 DAYS MAY CHANGE THEIR MAILING ADDRESS  TO:  NAME

                                                                                                                          PSC 517 BOX R C

                                                                                                                          FPO AP 96517-1000

WE CAN EXTEND THE 15 DAYS UP TO 30 DAYS IF YOU PROVIDE US AN ARRIVAL DATE AND REQUEST AN EXTENSION (POSTAL REQUIREMENT)... PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT MAIL IS RESTRICTED TO 1ST CLASS LETTERS UNDER 16OZ TO INCLUDE BLANK CHECKS/MAGAZINES/ NEWSPAPERS/FAMILY VOICE TAPE/HOME VIDEO’S (NO MERCHANDISE)... RENT AND UTILITY COST:  CAN USUALLY RENT HOUSES IN SUBDIVISIONS BETWEEN $200.00-$500.00 PER MONTH DEPENDING ON YOUR STANDARD OF LIVING... UTILITIES FOR A NORMAL HOUSEHOLD IS AROUND $150.00 PER MONTH UNLESS YOU HAVE AIRCONS/CLOTHES DRYERS... TELEPHONE SERVICE IS GOOD AND SUITABLE FOR INTERNET CONNECTION... SCHOOLS:  THE MEDIUM OF TEACHING IS ENGLISH AND THE SCHOOLS ARE GOOD AND INEXPENSIVE... ALSO HAVE VA APPROVED SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE PHILIPPINES WITH FIVE HERE IN ANGELES CITY...

HOME REPAIRS IN THE PHILIPPINES:  ALWAYS A PROBLEM  IN FINDING SOMEONE WHO WILL PERFORM REPAIR WORK AS AGREED…  ANY REPAIRS THAT TAKE OVER ONE DAY TO COMPLETE SHOULD HAVE A CONTRACT AND SOMETIMES THIS DOES NOT WORK TOO WELL EITHER…  AT LEAST, GET THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE WORKMAN AND AGREE UPON A PRICE BEFORE ANY WORK IS COMPLETED…  ALWAYS BEST TO HAVE A RECOMMENDATION FROM A SATISFIED CUSTOMER…  NEVER PAY IN ADVANCE OR ALLOW THE WORKMAN TO PICK UP THE MATERIAL…  SHOULD PICK UP MATERIAL YOURSELF OR HAVE DELIVERED BY THE STORE (DON’T FORGET TO ASK FOR A DISCOUNT AND THAT WILL USUALLY OFFSET ANY DELIVERY CHARGE)…  ALSO GOOD NOT TO  ALLOW MORE THAN ONE REPAIRMAN IN YOUR HOUSE UNLESS YOU HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS WHO CAN WATCH EACH ONE…  WHEN WORK IS COMPLETED, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ACCOUNTED FOR ALL YOUR TOOLS THEY MAY HAVE USED AND EXCESS MATERIAL… DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED AND JUST MAYBE ALL WILL WORK OUT AS PLANNED… WE CAN RECOMMEND SOME REPAIRMEN; HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD STILL REMAIN ALERT… ANYTIME WE RECOMMEND A WORKMAN, WE WOULD LIKE YOUR COMMENTS AFTER  THE JOB  HAS BEEN COMPLETED…

SAFETY HELMETS FOR MOTOR BIKES OPERATORS:  THE LOCAL POLICE HAVE STARTED ENFORCING THIS POLICY AND EXPECT TO BE STOPPED IF NOT IN COMPLIANCE…

FPO:  WORKING GREAT, ABOUT 6 DAY SERVICE FROM THE CONUS… ENJOY THE PRIVILEGES & DON'T FORGET THE RESTRICTIONS…   MAIL  IS LIMITED  TO FIRST-CLASS CORRESPONDENCE (INCLUDING VOICE, VIDEO CASSETTES (HOME MADE), BLANK CHECKS),  NEWSPAPERS,  MAGAZINES  AND PHOTOGRAPHS NOT EXCEEDING 16 OUNCES OF THE ABOVE CATEGORY OF ITEMS...  MERCHANDISE CATALOGS,  AND BOOKS ARE NOT AUTHORIZED...  UNAUTHORIZED/PROHIBITED ITEMS PLUS THOSE WEIGHING OVER 16 OUNCES MAY BE  RETURNED TO SENDER..  A FEW PEOPLE CONTINUE TO ABUSE THE FPO SYSTEM, JUST REMEMBER, WHEN YOU ORDER MERCHANDISE, THE EMBASSY IS GOING TO RETURN THE PACKAGE…  THIS IS EXPENSIVE TO THE EMBASSY WHO MUST PAY THE RETURN POSTAGE...  PLEASE USE THE LOCAL MAIL SYSTEM WE HAVE ESTABLISHED TO RECEIVE MERCHANDISE AND SAVE US ALL A LOT OF PROBLEMS AND EXPENSE...  AS MOST ARE AWARE OUR APO IS NEW AND SOME OF THE SMALL POST OFFICES BACK IN THE STATES MAY NOT HAVE POSTED THE U.S. POSTAL BULLETIN TO THE LIST  OF  ACTIVE FPO'S...  JUST IN CASE YOU RECEIVE NOTIFICATION THAT THE RAO DOES NOT EXIST, PLEASE WRITE BACK  AND  MAKE REFERENCE  TO U.S. POSTAL BULLETIN 21903, 9-28-95 PAGE 31…  THIS SHOULD RESOLVE THE PROBLEM... IF NOT, SEE ME…  I  THINK OUR  POSTAL  CLERKS ARE EFFICIENT, HONEST AND ARE DOING GREAT JOB AND IF YOU THINK SO, PLEASE TELL THEM... IF  THERE  ARE PROBLEMS, THAT CANNOT BE RESOLVED, OR YOU HAVE IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS, PLEASE SEE ME... THIS FPO IS ONLY AUTHORIZED  FOR RETIREES, ACCOMPANIED DEPENDENTS AND WIDOWS(ER); DOES NOT INCLUDE ACTIVE DUTY & OTHERS WHICH NORMALLY RECEIVE FPO PRIVILEGES ON MILITARY BASES... NON-NARCOTIC PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION MAY BE RECEIVED VIA THE FPO… THE U.S. POSTAL SYSTEM  ALLOWS US TO HOLD MAIL UP TO 15 DAYS, RELEASE TO YOUR DESIGNATED REPRESENTATIVE OR FORWARD TO YOUR NEW ADDRESS/SENDER... AN EXCEPTION TO THIS RULE IS FOR YOU TO PROVIDE US WRITTEN AUTHORITY TO HOLD YOUR MAIL UP TO A SPECIFIC DATE NOT TO EXCEED 30 DAYS... THIS ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN  WHEN YOU PLAN TO BE OUT OF TOWN FOR MORE THAN 15 DAYS... HOPE ALL WILL TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY BECAUSE ANY RETURNED MAIL CAN EFFECT YOUR PAY/BENEFITS....

FPO MAIL CHECK VIA TELEPHONE:  WE HAVE INSTALLED A DIGITAL TELEPHONE LINE IN OUR POST OFFICE, (892 -0817) SO YOU CAN CHECK MAIL FROM YOUR LOCAL WATERING HOLE WITHOUT LOOSING YOUR  SEAT OR FIGHTING TRAFFIC.... JUST ANOTHER SERVICE FOR OUR AMERICAN COMMUNITY...  ALSO HAVE A PUBLIC PAY TELEPHONE FOR DOMESTIC CALLS AT THE POST  OFFICE....

FPO 96517 MAIL PRIVILEDGES:  LOT OF OUR NEWCOMERS ARE SURPRISED TO DISCOVER THEY COULD NOT RECEIVE THE SAME FPO PRIVILEDGES AS THEY DID ON ACTIVE DUTY... GUESS GETTING OLD AND NOT HAVING FULL FPO PRIVILEDGES IS THE DOWNDOWN SIDE OF BEING RETIRED; HOWEVER, WITH ALL THE PLUSES OF BEING RETIRED THAT ISN’T TOO BAD... PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL WE ARE ALLOWED TO RECEIVE VIA THE FPO IS FIRST-CLASS MAIL CORRESPONDENCE (INCLUDING VOICE AND VIDEO CASSETTS), NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, PHOTOGRAPHS, NOT EXCEEDING 16 OUNCES, WHEN ADDRESSED TO BOX R PLUS CHECK BOOKS FROM YOUR BANK AND MEDICATION FROM THE NATIONAL MAIL ORDER PHARMACY (EXPRESS SCRIPT ONLY)... NOTE:  ANY AND ALL MAIL THAT SUPERCEDES THESE RESTRICTIONS MAY BE RETURNED TO SENDER BY THE EMBASSY POST OFFICE MANILA OR FORWARDED TO THE DEAD MAIL BRANCH IN YOKOHAMA, JAPAN... PLEASE NOTIFY PEOPLE TO WHOM YOU CORRESPOND OF THIS POLICY... FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT AUTHORIZED FPO PRIVILEDGES WE HAVE AN ALTERNATE AND RELIABLE SYSTEM TO RECEIVE MAIL... THIS SYSTEM CAN ALSO BE USE BY FPO MEMBERS (FREE) TO RECEIVE ITEMS NOT AUTHORIZED TO BE MAILED VIA THE FPO...

PHILIPPINE NEWSPAPER WEB SITES:  FOR THOSE OUTSIDE OF THE PHILIPPINES THAT WOULD LIKE TO KEEP UP  ON LOCAL NEWS, YOU CAN ACCESS THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER AT:   www.inquirer.net, THE MANILA BULLETIN AT:  http://www.mb.com.ph  AND SUN STAR PAMPANGA www.sunstar.com/ph/pampanga

WE ARE A TAX EXEMPT FOUNDATION, IRS EIN – 98-0206430:  AS MOST OF OUR MEMBERS ARE AWARE, WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A TAX-EXEMPT FOUNDATION (PHILIPPINE AND U.S. REGISTERED) TO SUPPORT ALL THE SERVICES WE PROVIDE..   I THINK MOST ARE ALSO AWARE THAT WE DO NOT RECEIVE ANY BUDGET FROM THE U.S. GOV’T TO SUPPORT THE RAO OR OTHER PROGRAMS...  WE DO RECEIVE  EXCESS EQUIPMENT SUPPORT FROM THE U.S. EMBASSY, VA & JUSMAG WHICH HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUS HELP IN PROVIDING SERVICES TO THE RETIREES, DEPENDENTS, WIDOWS(ER) AND AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES.... OUT OF DONATIONS & FUNDS GENERATED, WE MUST PAY OUR RENT, UTILITIES, EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, COMMUNICATIONS, EMPLOYEES, EMPLOYMENT TAXES, INSURANCE, REPAIRS, TRANSPORTATION, ETC....  ANY NEW PROGRAMS THAT WE ARE TRYING TO ESTABLISH LIKE;  EMERGENCY  FUNDS FOR LOANS/GRANTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS MUST BE HELD IN ABEYANCE UNTIL SUPPORT FUNDS ARE AVAILABLE...  WE HAVE ESTABLISHED A “SPACE A” PROGRAM AT OUR ANNEX ON CLARK FIELD AND THIS IS BEING FUNDED ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET...  WE HAVE ALSO ESTABLISHED SATELLITE RAO’S AND HOPE TO ESTABLISH AT LEAST FIVE MORE PLUS WE NEED TO VISIT THESE AREAS TO HELP ESTABLISH PROGRAMS AND TO COORDINATE TRICARE CARE THROUGHOUT THE PHILIPPINES...   ALL  THIS REQUIRES FUNDING...  WE ARE ASKING FOR OUR AMERICAN COMMUNITY TO HELP PLUS INT’L PARTICIPATION WOULD BE WELCOME...  WE  ONLY ASK THAT ANY DONATIONS BE GIVEN IN GOOD FAITH WITHOUT STRINGS ATTACHED..... IF INTERESTED, PLEASE CONTACT ME IN PERSON/E-MAIL/FAX’S OR  AT THE ADDRESSES ON

PAGE 1.

 

SUGGESTIONS:   IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS ON HOW WE CAN PROVIDE BETTER SUPPORT NEXT YEAR, JUST WRITE UP YOUR SUGGESTION, PLACE IN AN ENVELOPE, ADDRESS TO JIM BOYD, RAO AND DROP OFF AT OUR FPO (DONATIONS ARE ACCEPTED ALSO)…

JIM BOYD, USAF, RAO DIRECTOR

CLARK AIR BASE REGION

 CLARK AIR FORCE BASE

“Clark Air Force Base was once upon a time the biggest US base in the world.  The base started as Fort Stotenburg in 1903 as an army post.  The base holds significant meaning in the history of our country and her people.

           

On Dec. 8, 1941, Japanese naval and air force struck like clockwork hitting the Philippines.  On Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor was bombed.  It was at Clark Field, or CAB where news about Pearl Harbor bombing was flashed and later picked up by commercial broadcast.  US heavy bomber planes were caught like sitting ducks by Japanese bombers.  Because of the sneak attack disaster, the fall of the Philippines was inevitable.  On April 16, 1948 while in CAB, Pres. Manuel Roxas during a speech suffered a heart attack and died.  During the late 60’s the CAB played a major key role in the conduct of the Vietnam War where combat casualties were airlifted from Vietnam to the Clark Medical Center, in addition to the airlift of supplies, military personnel and logistics.  In 1986, Pres. Marcos and his family after the EDSA Revolution were flown by helicopter to CAB and into their voluntary exile to Hawaii effectively ending martial law and 20-year regime.

 

            In 1991, Mt. Pinatubo volcano erupted and closed the base, with US servicemen and their families evacuated to Subic naval base.  CAB base was never to reopen as a US facility.  The US government opted not to reopen the base much less repair it, because of the proximity of the base to an active volcano endangering lives and weaponry.  Reopening of CAB was never a subject of  negotiation but only the status of Subic base was in the agenda of the US-RP treaty renewal rejected by the Senate contrary to the popular desire of majority of Filipinos.  It was the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, and a changing world where cold was tensions were diminished lessening the need for military bases from the US point of view that effectively closed the CAB facility for good.

 

            After the base was closed, US jet fighter planes that used to take off southward from the runway to make air pilot training formations and go around in circles over Angeles San Fernando skies and land along the northern runways, were gone.  US serviceman walking streets of Angeles City shopping for locally made products, furniture, and local food or entertaining themselves have become mere figments of the imagination.  Colorful neon signs and robust businesses and shops along the Friendship road have diminished.  When Mt. Pinatubo erupted and almost destroyed Angeles and Clark Field, a time and event both were never imagined to recover from, losses and sadness were wide spread and prevalent as tons of lahar covered both city and base.

 

            During the term of Pres. Ramos, under the Base Conversion Act authored by Speaker de Venecia and the Xth Congress, Clark Field is earmarked for development to industrial and tourist zone.  One weekend eight years after its closure, we visited out of curiosity the CAB facility.  What we found were pleasantly surprising.  The welcome arc with the “salakot” is still there and is much cleaner.  The palm trees that lined the road form Clark Field that rose like a Phoenix from the volcanic debris thumbs up Cory, FVR, speaker JdV and Xth Congress, Clark Dev Corp of Mrs. Henson and Calayo at the helm and the many people who brought her back.  The future to the gate grown much taller.  Rows of rented jeepneys, cars and other vehicles and Filipinos waiting to get passes to enter CAB have disappeared.

 

            Instead of a single road, there are now two concreted highways leading to the facilities.  Friendship gate toward Carmenville is open, with few people, and vehicle around the gate.  Painted waiting sheds dotted the highway from where one could see the Yokohama Tire Co, a sprawling complex in the distance.  The PhilAm veteran cemetery is trim and manicured among the green grass and trees.  Further down where the old base personnel office was, a huge building then new Winn Gate building is under construction.  On the left is a modern Holiday Inn located in the Mimosa Leisure Complex.  The Regional medical center which used to service as medical center the military bases in Asia, is now only a skeleton of a building, destroyed by both lahar and looters while the fire-trees that once beautifully lined the parking lot remained stunted without blossoms.  The old officers and the NCO club, Wurstsmith, Lily Hill elementary and Wagner high schools, Chambers hall, base theaters, Kelly restaurant, chicken Coop fast-food, motor vehicle office, American Express and Prudential banks, Commissary, PX, and other military offices are now only shadows of old memories and presence.  Housing area is stripped to bare posts with deteriorated rooftops are mere skeletons where once there were comfortable housing for families.”

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