MANILA, Philippines?Citing Filipino and American war veterans ?who sacrificed so much for us,? US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. Wednesday inaugurated the new US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) building in Pasay City.
The P1.8-billion facility, located at the US Embassy's Seafront Compound in Pasay City, houses the DVA's benefits office and an outpatient clinic with state-of-the-art laboratories.
The new building is the ?only DVA facility outside the US,? according to the US Embassy in Manila.
During the DVA opening rites, Thomas said he had ?had the pleasure of meeting Filipino and American veterans over the past year.?
?Listening to their experiences and learning about sacrifices they made for our countries is truly humbling. I am so pleased that we are able to provide this facility to the veterans who sacrificed so much for us,? said the envoy.
For his part, DVA-Manila Director Jon Skelly presented a symbolic key to veterans who, the embassy said, ?will now enjoy the services of the benefits office, as well as the outpatient clinic with modern facilities and state-of-the-art laboratories accredited by the College of American Pathologists.?
In a statement, the embassy said the new facility was ?part of the US government's commitment to improving services for the public and reinforcing the close ties between the US and the Philippines.?
?The benefits office and outpatient clinic are now both located in the new facility, which provides more efficient delivery of financial and medical services and better customer service in general to veterans of the US Armed Forces living in the Philippines and to certain Philippine nationals,? it also said.
The facility employs 230 Filipinos who work alongside their American counterparts serving veterans of both countries, the mission added.
Both the benefits office and clinic formally opened in late January.
They operate Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.