cervantesIn honor of veterans from Ilocandia, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office will conduct OPLAN : Pagkalinga – Year 4, a medical outreach in celebration of the 64th Anniversary of the Victory at the Battle of Bessang Pass on June 14, 2009 at Camp Spencer, Darigayos, Luna, La Union from 8:00 AM – 12:00 NN.

Dr. Pilar Ibarra, Chairperson of the Disability Rating Board and Chief of the PVAO Medical Section will head the PVAO Pagkalinga Team from Field Service Extension Office No.1 from Fernando City, La Union and Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.

The Medical Team will be composed of physicians, nurses and aides from various district hospitals and the Provincial Health Office. Medicines, vitamins and food supplement will be provided by PVAO’s Medical Division.

Approximately 300 patients are expected to benefit from this project.

OPLAN : Pagkalinga is an initiative of PVAO Field Service Extension Office No. 1 that seeks to make the veterans and their dependents feel the warmth of PVAO’s TLC or tender loving care by offering them free medical services. It is made possible by pulling together resources from health institutions, private firms and local government units that selflessly render free services to patients. Since the year 2005 when it started, OPLAN: Pagkalinga has become a yearly tradition, a testimony to PVAO’s commitment to serve our living heroes & their familes.

The Battle of Bessang Pass in World War II is considered as one of the bloodiest and most fiercely fought battles in the war history of the world. After relentless months of fighting against the heavily fortified strongholds of the Japanese Imperial Army, Bessang Pass was seized by the United States Armed Forces in the Philippines – Northern Luzon on June 14, 1945 that led to the surrender of the infamous “Tiger of Malaya,” Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita. This event is being commemorated yearly in the Ilocos Region in tribute to our veterans who fought despite the odds to redeem the country’s freedom and the honor of the Filipino nation.

Jet S. Fajardo – Rivera

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