Marcos OKs laws for disabled veterans, MSMEs, cultural heritage protection

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 25) — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed three laws that would hike the monthly pension for disabled military veterans, improve support for local businesses, and scale up efforts to protect the country’s cultural heritage.

The Presidential Communications Office (PCO) announced this on Friday, saying Malacañang is set to formally notify the leadership of both houses of Congress of the approval of Republic Act (RA) Nos. 11958, 11960, and 11961.

Marcos inked the documents on Thursday, Aug. 24.

The PCO said RA No. 11958 increases the monthly pension given to veterans who were disabled due to sickness, disease, or injuries sustained in the line of duty. It further amends RA No. 6948, which was approved in 1990 and was first amended four years later.

The new law raises the minimum pension from ₱1,000 to ₱4,500. The maximum amount will meanwhile jump to ₱10,000, plus ₱1,000 each for the spouse and unmarried minor children, previously from ₱1,700, plus ₱500 each for the spouse and unmarried minor children.

Marcos also approved RA No. 11960, which institutionalizes the “One Town, One Product (OTOP) Philippines Program.”

Malacañang said the law aims to provide adequate and effective support services for local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), through efforts led by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in collaboration with other government agencies.

The OTOP has been the DTI’s priority stimulus program for MSMEs and enables localities to develop and promote products or services that are “rooted in its local culture, community resource, creativity, connection, and competitive advantage.”

“The law aims to develop a self-reliant and independent national economy effectively controlled by Filipinos through policies and programs that drive inclusive local economic activity and boost national economic growth,” the PCO wrote.

The other legislation signed by the president was RA No. 11961, which would strengthen the conservation and protection of Philippine cultural heritage through cultural mapping and enhanced cultural heritage education program.

It amends RA No. 10066, or the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.