Rescission Act of 1946
|Enacted by||the 79th United States Congress|
|Effective||February 18, 1946|
|American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009|
The Rescission Act of 1946 (38 U.S.C. § 107) is a law of the United States that retroactively annulled benefits that would have been payable to Filipino troops on account of their military service under the auspices of the United States during the time that the Philippines was a U.S. territory and Filipinos were U.S. nationals.
Opening text of the act
Service before July 1, 1946, in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the military order of the President dated July 26, 1941, including among such military forces organized guerrilla forces under commanders appointed, designated, or subsequently recognized by the Commander in Chief, Southwest Pacific Area, or other competent authority in the Army of the United States, shall not be deemed to have been active military, naval, or air service for the purposes of any law of the United States conferring rights, privileges, or benefits upon any person by reason of the service of such person or the service of any other person in the Armed Forces
In July 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt federalized forces in the Philippines into service. During World War II, over 200,000 Filipinos fought in defense of the United States against the Japanese in the Pacific theater of military operations. As a commonwealth of the United States before and during the war, Filipinos were legally American nationals. With American nationality, Filipinos were promised all the benefits afforded to those serving in the armed forces of the United States.
Efforts to end spending on Filipino veterans who served the Commonwealth of the Philippines, an American sub-national government, were pushed forward by Senators Carl Hayden and Richard Russell Jr. after being informed that the veteran benefit cost were projected to be $3 billion; Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo spoke out against the legislation. In 1946, Congress passed the Rescission Act, stripping Filipinos of the benefits they were promised, giving the reason that the United States gave the Philippines $200 million after the war; the allocated $200 million was never received. Of the 66 countries allied with the United States during the war, only Filipinos were denied military benefits.
Between 1946 and 2009, other benefits for Filipino veterans of World War II were enacted. These include the construction of Veterans Memorial Medical Center, and some funds for its operation and equipping. Other benefits include educational benefit extended to spouse and children, funding of assisted living care, as well as death benefits. In 1990, Filipino veterans gained the right to naturalize due to their military service, resulting in the naturalization of over 20,000 Filipino veterans.
In 2009, Section 1002 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided for a one-time $15,000 lump sum for the surviving veterans who are US Citizens, and a $9,000 lump sum settlement for non-citizens. Acceptance of the payment would deny the payer any future benefits. By February 2016, more than $225 million had been paid out through 18,960 individual claims have been granted, which make up a minority of 42,755 total claims made for the one time payment.
- Attempts to overturn Rescission Act of 1946
- Filipino Veterans Fairness Act
- Filipino Americans during World War II
- Military history of the Philippines during World War II
- Resistance against Japanese occupation during World War II
- Scottish Rescissory Act 1661
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It was not until the 1990s that a mere 26,000 surviving veterans were granted citizenship rights
Nakano, Satoshi (December 2000). "Nation, Nationalism and Citizenship in the Filipino World War II Veterans Equity Movement, 1945-1999". Hitotsubashi Journal of Social Studies. 32 (2): 33–53. JSTOR 43294595.
Berestein, Leslie (28 May 1995). "A Debt Unpaid : In 1946, the U.S. Reneged on a Wartime Promise of Citizenship and Full Veterans' Benefits to Filipino Soldiers Who Played a Crucial Role Fighting With American Troops in the Pacific. When Congress Did Finally Grant Citizenship in 1990, More Than 20,000 Men Left the Philippines and Came to This Country--Many Settling In L.A. Here, They Continue to Wait for What Is Due Them. Poor and Too Old to Find Work, They Live Together in Cramped Apartments, Surviving on Meager Social Security Checks. Their Hope Is That One Day They Will Be Reunited With Their Loved Ones From Their Homeland". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 December 2018.
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The Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund was established to provide a one-time payment to Filipino veterans as settlement for all future benefits claims based on service.
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