DAGUPAN CITY — There are now only about 9,000 surviving veterans of World War II nationwide whose ranks are continuously thinning each year.

This was bared to newsmen by Miguel Angelo Villa-Real, vice president and head of the Corporate and Consumer Relations of the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVAO) through which the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) courses the pension checks and other benefits of veterans.

The number, he said was based on records of PVAO as of November last year.

Records show that the widows numbering 25,000 nationwide now outnumber the surviving World War II veterans.

He said the number of surviving veterans is now a far cry from the original 300,000 who fought the Japanese when they invaded the Philippines up to the time they surrendered to the joint Filipino and American forces.

“If you are a World War II veteran, you are most likely 90 years old today. It would be a bonus if we can reach that age,” said Villa-Real.

Pangasinan, Villa-Real said, remain to have one of the largest number of veterans with more or less 1,000 veterans. PNA /