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Philippine Cube World Health Care Announcement Seminar
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

 

RAO Newsletter
December 2016

PHOTOS:

Embassy Outreach
March 13, 2015


VA Outreach
January 22, 2015

 

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Exchange Rate: 1$ = 49.89Ph
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Olongapo/Subic Information
 
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Retired Activities Office
Subic Bay, Philippines
 
     
  RAO Subic Bay is an Independent Retired Activities Coordination Office which provides vital services to U.S. military retirees living in this area, remote from any Navy installation.

Authorization & Support

The RAO is authorized by SECNAVINST 5420.169J and OPNAVINST 1720.3F to tailor its services to the needs of the local retired community, and bears full responsibility for financing its operation and maintenance costs. The RAO receives the same DoD support offered to any retiree or patriotic organization.

Corrections, Additions, & Deletions

This informal and unofficial information was prepared by members of the RAO who are also members of the VFW, FRA and American Legion. If you note any errors, want to contribute, or would like to see something revised, added or deleted, please pass your comments to RAO Voice or call/email the RAO Director at the address listed below.

 
 
 
 
HOURS OF OPERATION
0900 to 1500 Monday through Friday
        Closed on US and Philippine Holidays
 
 

 
Director
Jack Walker
USMC (Ret.)

Director
P.O. Box 075
Olongapo City, 2200
Philippines
OR: PSC 517 Box 5000R
FPO AP 96517-1000
Phone: [+63] 47-222-2314
Fax: [+63] 47-222-2899
Email: dir@raosubic.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
Important Announcement
RAO Closure
Subic RAO will be closed on 21 and 28 August for Philippine Holidays.

Dependent ID Cards Update
Just confirmed Dependent I D card renewals are now being done at JUSTMAG.

HOW TO: Google Rapids sites, select Manila, make appt. if available.
Take to appt. downloaded form 1172-2 signed by sponsor, NSO/PSA copy of Marriage Cert,/ Birth Cert for children. Copy of DD214. Original of any Divorce Decrees.

VA News

A few updates on VA news

1. Veterans in Philippines will not receive health care-related travel expenses, but will not have to repay expenses mistakenly paid Since 2008, VA regulations no longer permit the reimbursement of Veterans' travel expenses for health care visits and compensation-and-pension examinations in the Philippines. However, the U.S. VA Manila Outpatient Clinic, in the Philippines, continued to provide such travel payments to the present.  VA announced today that, effective October 1, 2017, it will discontinue providing any travel expenses in the Philippines, and it will not require Veterans to repay travel expenses that were coordinated by the Manila clinic from 2008-2017.

I'm sure we will hear "there they go again, taking away our benefits. As you can see above this was being paid since 2008 mistakenly, so it follows this was not a benefit we rated. We know that if a bank made a mistake and was depositing money into your account, for the past 9 years, they sure as s---, would make you pay it back. Be happy VA isnt a bank!

2. We heard today that after some lengthy negotiations by VA, Subic RAO and Angeles VFW, both Baypointe and Medical City Clark, have decided to participate in the FMP program. We will continue to talk with other providers in these area's to get more of them involved. How it works, the Vet provides a copy of their authorization letter from FMP for service connected illness and doesn't pay upfront. The Hospitals will file the claims and be reimbursed by FMP. Vets should note that just like Tricare, all Dr's may not participate so check that before receiving treatment.

That brings us to a touchy subject. Ensure what you are treated for and by whom are all covered under the FMP. One of the problems it is so hard to get Dr's and Hospitals to participate is the attitude of some Vets. As an example you are rated for a heart condition, get admitted and develop pneumonia. You have a letter saying your service connected for the heart condition, but not for Pneumonia, so when checking out you have to pay a bill for the pneumonia. (unless you have Tricare it will cover it but you pay 25%). Many times the providers tell us, the Vet gets overheated and begins a unwanted dialogue with the staff belittling them personally or calling them names and screaming and yelling, because the Vet didn't follow the rules and ensure the treatment was authorized or they requested additional treatment that was not covered. It only takes a few times for this to happen and the Hospital doesn't want to play anymore. Now we end up losing them as a provider and this effects all the other 15,000 vets who now have to travel to other cities to get treatment. This travel is without travel pay as you read above. Suddenly we have a bunch of upset Vets who have to go through this because of one guy who doesn't want to follow the rules. Having spent a lot of time negotiating with the hospitals, I for one will be pretty upset if one malcontent causes us to loose the local providers. I can promise, (not a threat) whoever that malcontent is that causes this problem will become very unpopular with the Vet population in both Angeles and Subic. If one disagrees with the billing, don't make the worker lose face by yelling and belittling, ask to speak to management and have the problem resolved. No one wants to be screamed at and belittled in public. Ok time to get off the soap box.

3. We have sent Baypointe the documents required to enroll in providing the exams required by VA for C&P exams that are now handled by VES (Veterans Evaluation Services). The more local providers we can get involved will result in Vets not having to travel to distant exotic places like Neuva Ecija, Cavite and Mindinao (I'm sure everyone has those locations on their bucket list),  this should help as we will no longer receive travel pay starting 1 Oct. this could save us all a bunch of Pesos.


Mailing Privilege for Retired Military Personnel

We just received the below letter from FPO Manila. It sets the standards for weight of packages mailed and or received through FPO. This came about due to a member ordering 9 boxes of materials from Amazon and having it shipped FPO. When confronted on his violation he replied I was never told. "COW DUNG". Every member is given their new box number and the P O box number, during that they are informed to use the P O box for packages over 16 oz. To ensure no further violations occur we will request every member sign a statement of understanding to acknowledge they have been so informed. Violation of the mailing standards puts us all in danger of losing the privilege. Many receive their checks and meds through this service and we are not going to permit those who can't follow the rules to have it taken away from those who truly need it.

On a personal note to me, the FPO stated members will be given one warning and any violations after will result in debarment from the FPO process. Please consider this the one warning. We cannot permit a member to put us all in danger of losing this privilege. Thank you to those who for so many years have used the service correctly.

Read the Memorandum


Philippine Cube World FAQ Sheet

There has been a lot of misinformation and false rumors recklessly being thrown around about the Cube World Company Philippine Program. Whether because of ignorance, fear, or just a need to feel important by trying to come up with something that sounds relevant, the people spreading this inaccurate and false information are doing a great disservice to those who can actually benefit from healthcare here in the Philippines.

For those of you that are interested in finding out more about what the Cube World Philippines Program has to offer you in terms of healthcare, Read the FAQ document here.


RAO Dues

A reminder, renewal of dues for 2017 begins 1 Jan 2017. Yearly dues is now $75.00 ffective 1 Jan 2017.

Those paying via checks, please make check payable to "RAO".


Tricare Standard becoming Tricare Select

Starting January 1, 2018, TRICARE Standard and TRICARE Extra are converting into a new plan, TRICARE Select. If you currently use TRICARE Standard or TRICARE Extra: Your plan name will change to TRICARE Select.

Most will automatically be enrolled in TRICARE Select and will remain in Select unless you choose to change your coverage.

Features for TRICARE Prime On January 1, 2018, if you are currently enrolledin TRICARE Prime, you will remain in Prime unless you choose to change your coverage.

Features for Both Plans: Annual enrollment will change from fiscal year (October 1 - September 30) to calendar year (expect to see more information this year). If you choose to switch between Prime and Select, you must do so during an open enrollment period or within 90 days of a major life event like marriage, divorce, child birth, moving, and others. TRICARE will provide more details as they become available.


Certificate for Cold War Service Recognition

Came upon this by accident, but wanted to offer to all. Here's a chance to get a certificate for service between 1945 and 1991. Best of all it will be signed by the Secretary of Defense, Gen (MadDog Mattis). Fill in the application linked below, sign, and fax along with a copy of your DD214 or if not available;. Acceptable documentation includes any official government or military document that contains the recipient’s name, Social Security Number or Military Service Number or Foreign Service Number, and a date showing at least one day of service during the Cold War era (2 September 1945 to 26 December 1991). Examples include your discharge paperwork, DD Form 214, military medals or awards, old pay stubs, or other documents.

Application for Cold War Recognition Certificate

WIDOWS CAN ALSO AVAIL OF THIS CERTIFICATE, PROVIDED THEY HAVE THE REQUIRED DOCS MENTIONED.

You can have it sent to a U.S. address, I used my FPO address (see what happens), on street box I used my PSC address and box number, for city FPO, state AP, zip 96517. Should work.


FINAL REMINDER - Discontinuation of Additional Visa Pages for U.S. Passport

U.S. Embassy, Manila, Philippines

Message for U.S. Citizens: FINAL REMINDER - Discontinuation of Additional Visa Pages for U.S. Passport beginning on January 1, 2016

November 30, 2015

THE EMBASSY OF THE UNITED STATES IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE EMBASSY WARDEN SYSTEM AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO AMERICAN CITIZENS IN THE PHILIPPINES. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD.

The U.S. Embassy wishes to remind U.S. citizens in the Philippines that the Department of State will discontinue the consular service of adding additional visa pages to U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. Requests for additional visa pages will still be accepted for existing passports through December 31, 2015.

Starting January 1, 2016, applicants who need extra visa pages will need to apply for a new passport book. Instructions on how to renew your passport or apply for visa pages for your existing passport can be found on our website http://manila.usembassy.gov/service/passports/renewal.html.


PASSPORT RENEWAL PAYMENT

A quick update on the payment for passports with demand draft through BPI bank.

We have become aware that in order to purchase a demand draft through BPI you have to have an account with the bank. I spoke with the manager at subic BPI and he has given the below recommendations for resolving this problem;

Option 1. Open a peso simple savings account for P200 and a p50 admin charge. Deposit the equivalent amount to $110.00 plus the cost of the draft. Then request the draft and send with your passport application.

Option 2. Open a dollar account, which requires a $500.00 deposit to start, deposit $110.00 and request the demand draft and send with your application.

Option 3. Find a friend who has a BPI account and give them the money for the draft and send with your application.


Certificates of Appreciation from U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg
Area Embassy Warden Norman Tuzon (Left) and District Embassy Warden Jack Walker (Right) receive Certificates of Appreciation from U.S. Ambassador Philip Goldberg

Philippine American Surviving Partner Support Club (PASPSC)

Philippine American Surviving Partner Support Club (PASPSC) Launching June 26, 2015

The RAO developed the PASPSC to start a community with the surviving partners to support each member through the impact of loss and the bureaucracy that goes with it.

Website: https://paspsc.wordpress.com/

Jocelyn Dahlman is the Lead of the PASPSC
Her contact email is paspsc@yahoo.com
or contact the RAO for further information.

 

FY 2014 VA Manila Handbook

Available for download: VA Manila Handbook 2014 (1.1MB)

 

All Concerned Military Retired & Dep ID's

ID Card initial issue is through JUSMAG at the embassy. Renewal for Retirees and widows is all done at JUSMAG. All others are done through mail in. See JUSMAG website on US Embassy page for instructions.

 
 
 
 
 
U.S./PHILIPPINE HOLIDAYS 2017
New Year's U.S./PHL Sun, Jan 1
M. L. King Jr. U.S. Mon, Jan 18
Chinese New Year PHL Sat, Jan. 28
Presidents U.S. Mon, Feb 20
Maundy Thurs PHL Thu, Apr. 13
Good Friday PHL Fri, Apr. 14
Bataan & Corregidor PHL Sat, Apr 9
Phil. Labor PHL Mon, May 1
U.S. Memorial U.S. Mon, May 29
Philippine Independence PHL Mon, Jun 12
U.S. Independence U.S. Tue, Jul 4
Eid-ul-Fitr PHL Mon, Jun 26
Ninoy Aquino PHL Mon, Aug 21
Heroes PHL Mon, Aug 28
U.S. Labor U.S. Mon, Sep 4
Columbus U.S. Mon, Oct 9
All Saints PHL Wed, Nov 1
Veterans U.S. Fri, Nov 10
Thanksgiving U.S. Thu, Nov 23
Bonifacio PHL Thu, Nov 30
Christmas U.S./PHL Mon, Dec 25
Rizal Day PHL Sat, Dec 30

 

 
 
 
 
RAO STAFF
RAO Staff
From top left: Amelito De Guzman, Crispulo Bronil, Gloria Oliva De Guzman, Marife Tayabas, Lyca O. De Guzman, Ma. Emilina D. Doble, Nonoy L. Acma, Solomon D. Rico
Seated from left: Ken Kimura, Jack Walker, Jeff Robinson
Read more about RAO Staff

 

 
     
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