On July 31, 2019, 13 government departments and agencies signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 9049 or the Monthly Gratuity and Privileges to an Awardee of the Medal of Valor. RA No. 9049 was signed into law in 2001, however, has not been implemented until today thanks to the failure of previous IRRs.
The Medal of Valor is the highest military honor awarded by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Awardees were distinguished from their comrades by their extraordinary bravery and self-sacrifice.
The Department of Transportation is one of the government agencies that has pledged to provide benefits to our military heroes. Under the IRR, awardees and their dependents will be granted a 20% discount for all public transportation systems covering air, sea, and land travel.
During the signing ceremony, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the measure is a testament to the Duterte administration’s political will. These privileges express the gratitude our nation feels for our uniformed heroes.
“Ngayon ‘ho, ang pamahalaang Duterte ay inaalala kayo sa tunay na pamumuhay. Maliit na kontribusyon, dasal ‘ho namin, ‘yung maliit na binhi na ating itinatanim ngayon ay lumaki at mamayagpag, upang sa ganoon, a grateful nation can manifest and express their gratitude to you, the love for you, and their appreciation for all your services,” Secretary Tugade said.
Defesnse Secretary Delfin Lorenzana also commended the solidarity of the various government agencies who are part of the act.
“This is the government’s support to the Medal of Valor Awardees and their dependents. The participation of other government agencies is a harmonious cooperation, as after 18 years, we can finally bring fulfillment to this legislation,” Secretary Lorenzana said.
For air and sea travel, the discount shall be applied on the actual fare. For land travel, the fare discount can be availed on public utility buses, public utility jeepneys, taxis, shuttle services, Transport Network Companies (TNCs) or Mobile Service Providers (MSPs), and railways.
The attached Agencies of the DOTr that will honor the privileges outlined in the IRR include the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Light Rail Transit Authority – LRT2 (LRTA), Philippine National Railways (PNR), MetroRail Transit 3 (MRT-3), and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board – LTFRB (LTFRB).
The PPA and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) will soon waive terminal fees for awardees and their dependents at all PPA-owned and operated seaports and at all four terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
“Napag-usapan ‘ho namin na sa NAIA Terminal 1, 2, 3, at 4, lahat ‘ho ng terminal fee ng mga awardees ng Medal of Valor, libre, kasama mga dependents, domestic man o international flight. Lahat din po ng terminal fees sa mga seaport na pag-aari ng gobyerno, mina-manage at ino-operate ng PPA, gagawin din po naming libre,” Secretary Tugade said.
Officials present during the signing ceremony include Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Leonor Briones, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Benjamin Madrigal, Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Prospero De Vera III, Civil Service Commission (CSC) Chairperson Alicia Dela Rosa-Bala, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary Elmer Punzalan, MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal, PPA General Manager Jay Santiago, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino, and National Housing Authority (NHA) representative Architect Susana Nonato.
The passing of this monumental measure means not just that uniformed heroes will finally receive their due benefits, but it is further proof of the united Duterte administration. #OneGovernmentOneTeam gets things done.