RAO Davao City

United States Military Retiree Activities Office Davao City, Philippines

Archive for February, 2008

Philippine Annual reporting requirement for Aliens in Country

Posted by Service Officer on 27th February 2008

BI reminds aliens of Feb. 29 deadline

The Philippine Star

Show up or be deported.

This was the ultimatum issued by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Wednesday to all foreign nationals residing in the country as it reminded them of the Feb. 29 deadline to report to the agency to prove their presence here.

Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan said the annual reporting of foreigners, which started last Jan. 2, is mandatory under Section 10 of the Alien Registration Act and applies to all aliens who are holders of immigrant or non-immigrant visas.

Libanan explained that under the law, all foreigners living in the country are required to report to the BI within the first 60 days of every calendar year.

“Any foreigner who fails to make the annual report can either be fined or be subjected to deportation proceedings for violating the country’s alien registration laws. They would be considered improperly document aliens,” he said.

Libanan said foreigners should bring with them their I-Cards as well as the official receipt of the annual report fee they paid the previous year.

The I-Card replaced the paper-based alien certificate of registration (ACR), which foreigners used to present to the BI when making their annual report.

Libanan said an annual report fee of P300 and P10 legal research fee shall be paid by each foreigner to the BI cashier.

As for aliens who are minors, Libanan said it is the duty of their parents or guardians to make the annual report on their behalf.

BI spokesman Floro Balato advised foreigners to go directly to the cashier’s office and pay their fees so they would not to be victimized by unscrupulous fixers.

Balato said a waiting area at the lobby of the BI’s main office has been designated to accommodate foreigners paying the annual fees.

He said the BI earned more than P16.9 million from 53,030 foreigners who paid the annual fees, including penalties.

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Military ID Card Update at U.S. Embassy Manila

Posted by Service Officer on 22nd February 2008

Due to a short fuse tasking, the ID card workstation will be closed all day Tuesday, 26 February.
SPC Babcock, Jeremy L
JUSMAG – Philippines
United States Embassy
1201 Roxas Blvd., Ermita
Manila, Philippines

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Warden Message February 21, 2008 Exercise Your Right to Vote

Posted by Service Officer on 21st February 2008

The General Election is November 4, 2008

If you haven’t registered to vote abroad by filling out a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), please do so as soon as possible.

How do I register to vote, or apply for an absentee ballot?

The Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) is accepted by all states and territories as an application for registration and for absentee ballot. The FPCA is postage-paid in the U.S. mail, including the Military Postal System, and State Department Pouch mail. An online version of the FPCA is available at the FVAP website, www.fvap.gov.

The online form must be completed, printed, signed, dated and mailed to your Local Election Official. The online form must mailed in an envelope with proper postage, or using the prepaid return envelope.

All States and Territories except American Samoa and Guam accept the OFPCA.

I would like to vote but don’t know how. Where can I find assistance?

Information on applying for absentee registration and a ballot is available in the Voting Assistance Guide. You will find PDF versions of the Guide as well as other voting related information and links on the FVAP website: www.fvap.gov. Voting Assistance Officers assigned to units at military installations and at each U.S. embassy or consulate have a copy of the Guide to assist you in completing the FPCA. U.S. citizen organizations overseas and many corporate offices of U.S. companies also have copies of the Guide available. Other overseas citizens may request these materials by contacting the FVAP directly at vote@fvap.ncr.gov.

Do I have to be registered to vote absentee?

Registration requirements vary from state to state. States and territories allow voters to register and request an absentee ballot by submitting a single FPCA during the election year. Information about individual state requirements may also be found at www.fvap.gov

For general information on voting abroad, check the Federal Voting Assistance Program website: http://www.fvap.gov For further inquiries related to voting, please contact Embassy voting assistance officers in the American Citizen Services section at 301-2000, extension 2246 or by email at ACSInfoManila@State.gov

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Military Postal Rate Discount

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

Beginning 3 MAR Military families will get a price break on the U.S. Postal Service’s flat-rate shipping boxes to send care packages around the globe. The discount applies only to the new “Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box,” which normally carries a $12.95 price tag for shipping. However, when the 12-by-12-by-5.5-inch box is sent to an AFO or FPO address, a $2 discount applies, dropping the cost to $10.95. The new boxes will be available in post offices nationwide on 3 MAR. Those who can’t wait to start packing the boxes, however, can order them from www.usps.com/supplies beginning 20 FEB.

They’re also available by calling 1(800) 610-8734. Some of the new boxes carry the America Supports You logo. America Supports You is a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad. The boxes bearing the America Supports You logo will be available only online or at select post offices near military bases. All flat-rate boxes are available for international shipping, though the discount applies only to the large flat-rate box, and only if it’s being shipped to an APO or FPO address. [Source: American Forces Press Service 14 Feb 08 ++]

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Retiree Appreciation Days and Military Retiree Seminars

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

Retiree Appreciation Days and Military Retiree Seminars offer military retirees and their families a chance to learn current information about topics such as benefits, entitlements, health care, and special services available for them. Since the day’s schedule of activities differ from location to location, it is best to check with the event’s point of contact for specific details. The Army maintains a current listing of activities for 2008 at http://www.armyg1.army.mil/rso/docs/rads.pdf. The current listing includes:

Schweinfurt, Germany April 12 09721-96-7033
Dover AFB, Del. April 12 (302) 677-4612
Stuttgart, Germany April 19 07031-15-2924
Fort Jackson, S.C. April 25-26 (803) 751-6715
Fort Wainwright, Alaska April 26 (907) 384-3500
McGuire AFB, N.J. April 26 (609) 754-2459
Vicenza, Italy May 30 0444-71-7262
Fort McPherson, Ga. June 21 (404) 464-3219
NAS Jacksonville, Fla. July 12 (904) 542-2766 Ext. 126
Orlando, Fla. Aug. 16 (912) 767-5013
Andrews AFB, Md. Oct. 25 (301) 981-2726
Heidelberg, Germany Oct. 18 06221-57-3347
Grafenwoehr, Germany Oct. 25 09641-83-8540
Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Nov. 1 (913) 684-2425
Bolling AFB, D.C. Nov. 8 (202) 767-5244

[Source: Afterburner Feb 08 ++]

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U.S. Savings Bond Update 15 Feb 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

Retirees can buy U.S. Savings Bonds in electronic form and hold them directly with the U.S. Treasury over the Internet. They can even convert their paper savings bonds into electronic form and hold them in an account with the government. Both are possible when people open a TreasuryDirect account, according to Defense Finance and Accounting Service officials.

TreasuryDirect allows people to open an online account and buy savings bonds either through a payroll allotment or with money debited directly from a bank or credit union account. Once the bonds are eligible for redemption, people can go online and schedule payment directly into a bank or credit union account.

Electronic savings bonds carry the same interest rates and maturity periods as paper bonds, but, unlike paper bonds, people do not have to wait to receive them in the mail. Instead, all people need is access to the Internet.

With a TreasuryDirect account, people can convert any paper bonds they own into electronic securities. If the DFAS is holding the bonds, people can request the bonds and DFAS will mail them. People can then send them, along with any paper bonds they may have at home, to the U.S. Treasury for addition to a TreasuryDirect account.

Because the U.S. Treasury requires people to submit the bonds with a signed manifest, DFAS cannot mail the bonds directly to the treasury. To learn more about converting bonds into electronic form, visit SmartExchange at http://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/research/indepth/smartexchangeinfo.htm. For more information, visit www.treasurydirect.gov. [Source: Afterburner Feb 08 ++]

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World War I Veterans Search – Last Man Standing

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

Of the 2 million American soldiers sent to the trenches during World War I, only Frank Woodruff Buckles is still alive. The retired Army corporal, who turned 107 this month, is all that prevents the First World War from slipping into the secondhand past. Harry Landis, the only other known WWI veteran, died at 108 last week in Tampa, Fla. We’re about to “lose a living touchstone of history,” says Bob Patrick, director of the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. Yet the United States has no firm or official plans to mark the passing of its last WWI veteran. “Frankly, we’re trying to keep the focus on the living,” says Phil Budahan, director of media relations for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Britain plans to hold an elaborate ceremony at Westminster Abbey when the last of its three remaining WWI veterans die. Canada and France, which each have one remaining veteran, have also announced plans to hold a state funeral. In fact, America’s plans are more akin to those of its wartime enemy, Germany, whose last veteran died last month at 107 without official fanfare.

In America, the First World War remains a largely forgotten conflict. It has no national monument on the Washington Mall, no blockbuster film, no iconic image equivalent to soldiers’ raising the flag on Iwo Jima. There wasn’t even a reliable list of living veterans until a writer, researching a book about the war’s place in the shadows, tallied one for himself in 2004. “Nobody—not the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion—knew how many there were,” says Richard Rubin, author of the forthcoming book “The Last of the Doughboys.” As far as he could tell, “that chapter of history was closed.” For now, the primarily privately funded World War One Museum in Kansas City, Mo., is the only national institution with plans to commemorate the end of the Doughboy generation. “We just don’t know what that means yet,” says Denise Rendina, a spokeswoman for the museum. The VA says that all plans must come from Congress, while the White House Commission on Remembrance, the agency officially tasked with honoring “America’s fallen,” says it will invite Buckles to join a national flag-raising tour that began in December. There’s just one problem: the touring flag is from a World War II memorial. [Source: Newsweek Tony Dokoupil article 9 Feb 08 ++]

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Ohio State Tax Exemption

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

OHIO STATE TAX: Recently passed Ohio legislation exempts military retirement pay from Ohio personal income tax and exempts estates of armed forces members who died while serving in combat zones from probate fees. The legislation also extends the 20% credit available to certain military persons on civil service examinations to any member of the National Guard or a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces who has completed more than 180 days of active duty service pursuant to an order of the President or an act of Congress. H.B. 372 Laws 2007, effective 24 DEC 07. [Source: Clark, Schaefer, Hackett & Co Tax Update 9 Feb 08 ++]

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Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) eligibility

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

CRSC UPDATE 37: The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was signed into law on 29 JAN 08. The NDAA expanded Combat-Related Special Compensation (CRSC) eligibility to include those who were medically retired under Chapter 61with less than 20 years of service, effective 1 JAN 08. A Chapter 61 retiree is anyone who was medically retired from military service. Chapter 61 is a new component for CRSC. Medically retired Veterans must still provide documentation that shows a causal link between a current VA disability and a combat-related event. CRSC will not begin processing claims until the DoD provides program implementation instructions. Potentially eligible retirees can begin to gather the required documentation (VA rating decision, DD214, medical records) needed to submit their claim. Required documentation includes a signed claim form and:

1. Copy of Chapter 61 Board results (Chapter 61 claimants only).

2. Copies of ALL VA rating decisions which include the letter and the narrative summaries

3. Copies of ALL DD214′s

4. Medical records that support “HOW” the injury occurred for each claimed disability that meets the criteria for combat-related. Refer to CRSC website to learn what combat-related is.

The CRSC website www.crsc.army.mil will be kept updated with program guidance and claim information. For questions and further guidance send email to crsc.info@us.army.mil or contact the CRSC call center at 1(866) 281-3254. [Source: U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program Northeast Team Ayandria Barry input 5 Feb 08 ++]

Posted in Health News, Retiree News | No Comments »

Tricare User Fee Update 16 Feb 2008

Posted by Service Officer on 15th February 2008

In the proposed FY09 budget DoD included the “Task Force for the Future of Military” recommendations to dramatically raise the TRICARE enrollment fees, co-pays and deductibles for working age military retirees and their families. They estimate a savings to them (and a cost to the retirees) of $1.2 billion. On 7 FEB, representatives from The Military Coalition testified against these proposals before the House Armed Service Committee’s personnel subcommittee. The increases proposed for 2009 are as follows:

• For retirees with retired pay from $0 to $19,999 for TRICARE Prime (presently $230 for an individual and $460 for a family) up to $364 for an individual and $728 for a family.

• For TRICARE Standard (presently there is no yearly enrollment fee and the deductible is $150 for an individual and $300 for a family) there will be an enrollment fee of $32 for an individual, $64 for a family, a deductible of $209 for an individual and $407 for an family.

• For retirees with retired pay from $20,000-$39,000 for TRICARE Prime (presently $230 for an individual and $460 for a family) up to $444 for an individual and $888 for a family.

• For TRICARE Standard (presently there is no yearly enrollment fee and the deductible is $150 for an individual and $300 for a family) there will be an enrollment fee of $32 for an individual, $64 for a family, a deductible of $252 for an individual and $503 for an family.

• For retirees with retired pay from $40,000 and above for TRICARE Prime (presently $230 for an individual and $460 for a family) up to $594 for an individual and $1,188 for a family.

• For TRICARE Standard (presently there is no yearly enrollment fee and the deductible is $150 for an individual and $300 for a family) there will be an enrollment fee of $32 for an individual, $64 for a family, a deductible of $337 for an individual and $675 for an family.

• The present co-pays in retail for a 30 day supply are $3 for a generic drug, $9 for a brand name and $22 for a non-formulary drug. Under this proposal it would increase to $15 for a generic; $25 for a brand name and $45 for a non-formulary drug.

• Mail order for 90 day supply co-pays are presently $3 for a generic, $9 for a brand and $22 for a non-formulary. Under the proposal the generic they would have $0 co-pay generic, $15 for the brand and $45 for the non-formulary.

[Source: TREA Washington Update 8 Feb 08 ++]

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