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Events & Activities

U.S. Embassy Outreach
Thur., September 20, 2018
8:00am to 11:00am Mansion Garden Hotel Dewey Avenue, cor. Bonifacio St., SBFZ, Olongapo City
 RAO, November 2018 Newsletter

PHOTOS:

Embassy Outreach
March 13, 2015


VA Outreach
January 22, 2015

 

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Local: www.inq7.net more sites
Global: www.cnn.com more sites

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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 Military 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
Phone: [+63] 47-222-2314
Fax: [+63] 47-222-2899
Email: dir@raosubic.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
Important Announcement

RAO Subic Closure

UPCOMING CLOSURE DAYS--
November 1 (Thur) - All Saints Day
November 2 (Fri)- All Souls Day
November 12 (Mon) - Veterans Day
November 22 (Thur) - Thanksgiving.

In view of the foregoing schedule, mail will be dispensed 30 Oct-Tuesday and 20 Nov a Tuesday.


Departed Shipmates

With a heavy heart we announce EG1 Sonny B. Almanzan, received final orders to USS Heaven 10/5/2018. An amazing shipmate and great friend will be sorely missed. Funeral arrangement pending.


EARLY HAPPY BIRTHDAY WISHES TO ALL OUR SHIPMATES.October 13 marks the birthday of the U.S. Navy, which traces its roots back to the early days of the American Revolution.

Whitehall, NY - Birthplace of the U.S. Navy maybe; as many as five cities claim to be the official birthplace and all have a believable story, but many recognize Whithall  as the real one. In 1759, Whitehall was settled in a valley at the southern end of Lake Champlain. This colonial town was founded by British Army Captain Philip Skene, and was originally known as Skenesboro. Skenesboro became the first settlement on Lake Champlain and was a center of maritime trade. Captain Skene built saw mills, grist mills and an iron foundry, where trade can be documented from that time.


The Revolutionary War caused the capture of Skene's trading schooner and the building of a fleet by Benedict Arnold at this place. Because of the Revolutionary War actions, the New York State Legislature, in 1960, declared the legacy that names Whitehall as the Birthplace of the United States Navy. On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress established a naval force, hoping that a small fleet of privateers could attack British commerce and offset British sea power.

The early Continental navy was designed to work with privateers to wage tactical raids against the transports that supplied British forces in North America. To accomplish this mission the Continental Congress purchased, converted, and constructed a fleet of small ships -- frigates, brigs, sloops, and schooners. These navy ships sailed independently or in pairs, hunting British commerce ships and transports. Two years after the end of the war, the money-poor Congress sold off the last ship of the Continental navy, the frigate Alliance. But with the expansion of trade and shipping in the 1790s, the possibility of attacks of European powers and pirates increased, and in March 1794 Congress responded by calling for the construction of a half-dozen frigates, The United States Navy was here to stay.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHIPMATES!


BE CAREFUL WHO YOU INVITE INTO YOUR HOUSE
Subic Bay News is at Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

SBMA Statement on the Almazan Case
A tragic incident happened over the weekend at a housing area here in the Subic Bay Freeport.

Sonny Almazan, said to be a 69-year old US Navy retiree from Zambales, was found dead early Monday (October inside his quarters at Binictican Heights. He was apparently beaten to death with a golf club that was found bloodstained inside his bedroom.

Investigators, however, found no signs of forcible entry at the crime scene. There is a theory now that Almazan could have been killed by persons who had been invited as guests into his house.

Initial information obtained by the Investigation Division of the Law Enforcement Department of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA-LED) indicated that Almazan was last seen alive in the company of two females when he arrived in his quarters at about 10:00 pm last Sunday.

According to Almazan's driver Renato Barbadillo, he went with his employer to the Breadtime bakery near the Ayala Mall in the Subic Freeport between 7:00 and 8:00 pm last Sunday. There, Almazan instructed him to fetch two female friends at Kalaklan Gate.

Barbadillo proceeded to the gate aboard Almazan's Toyota Fortuner SUV, waited for Almazan's friends at the parking lot, then brought them to Almazan at Breadtime bakery. Thereupon Almazan asked Barbadillo to go home.

The following day, Barbadillo reported for work at Almazan's quarters in Binictican and after failing to get some response after pressing the doorbell three times, decided to enter the house through the front door that he found unlocked.

But once inside, Barbadillo reportedly observed bloodstains on the floor leading to Almazan's bedroom and more on the floor and walls inside the bedroom, leading him to seek the help of neighbors to call the SBMA Police for assistance.

SBMA investigators said Almazan sustained head injuries caused by a blunt instrument. They also noticed bloody footprints on the bedroom floor, a golf club and a metal cane with bloodstains, and broken liquor bottles.

Almazan's cellular phone and a sling bag believed to contain cash were reportedly missing.

During investigation, Barbadillo confirmed that the two females caught on CCTV footages at Kalaklan Gate at about 9:25 pm were the same persons that he had fetched at the instruction of the victim.

He further told the police that one of the females who visited Almazan, the one with a tattoo on her right thigh, had been in the company of his employer for about three or four times previously.

Meanwhile, CCTV footages also revealed that Almazan's Toyota vehicle entered Binictican housing at 9:47 pm. This tallied with the account of a witness that Almazan arrived in his quarters with two female companions at 10:00 pm that Sunday night.

The SBMA-LED said the investigation of Almazan's death has been assumed by the Philippine National Police office in Morong, Bataan, which has territorial jurisdiction over the Binictican area.

In light of this, we condole with the family of the victim and commit the assistance of the SBMA Law Enforcement Department to help in the investigation by the Morong Police Office so that the perpetrators of this crime might be arrested and put to justice. ###

WILMA T. EISMA
SBMA Chairman and Administrator
09 October 2018


GREAT NEWS!

Its official, as of today 16 August 2018, Ace/Baypointe is authorized to accept Tricare patients under the Preferred Provider category. You will have to check with the HMO office to ensure your Dr. is also on the Preferred Provider list. There are currently 31 Dr's who are, but check to be sure or you will have to pay the Dr's fees.

And oh by the way, please resist the urge to repeat the bad news bears (you know the ones who have their names stenciled on the back of their bar stool) who are spreading rumors about ACE BAYPOINTE and Medical City Clark suspending FMP due to non payment. IT DIDNT HAPPEN! Medical city Ortigas did due to non payment by FMP. Come to find out they gave FMP the wrong mailing address to which FMP mailed the payments. All is fixed now and they have withdrawn the suspension. 

Old saying better to be quiet and be thought a fool, than opening mouth and leave no doubt.

I have taken the opportunity to compile a list of what Drs, and Specialties AT ACE BAYPOINTE, to the best of my knowledge are also certified as preferred providers. The hospital is in the process of adding to this list. As you all are aware this list changes without notice, so before getting treatment it would be to your benefit to check with the hospital HMO office to ensure the Dr you will receive treatment from is in fact still certified as preferred. The HMO can be reached at 047-250-6070 ext 283 or 507. 

Provider Name Specialization Gender

Ablang, Alberto Mariano, MD

Pediatrics, Critical Care

Male

Ablang, Marietta, MD

Internal Medicine, Cardiology

Female

Aguila, Beverly, MD

Internal Medicine, Nephrology

Female

Aguilar, Rodrigo

Gastronology/Int Med

Male

Alconga, Rudy

Pediatrics

Male

Bernal, Gerald, MD

Internal Medicine, Diabetology

Male

Bongco, Jesusa

Anesthesiology

Female

Bongco, Rosario

Endocrinology

Male

Bustamante, Rodrick

Anesthesiology

Male

Calapatia, David, MD

Family Medicine

Male

Cepeda, Armando, MD

Surgery, General

Male

Cepeda, Monette, MD

Neurology

Female

De Castro, Felicisimo, MD

Ophthalmology

Male

De Castro, Ma. Gloria, MD

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Female

Dela Cruz, Anthony, MD

Internal Medicine, Diabetology;
Occupational Health

Male

Dela Paz, Emmanuel, MD

Orthopedics

Male

DeLeon, Roberto

Gen Surgery

Male

Edejer, Karl Erjon, MD

Anesthesiology

Male

Guevara, Luis, MD

Radiology

Male

Hipolito, Charina

Internal Medicine, Pulmonology

Female

Mallari, Lourdes

ENT Ear, Nose,Throat

Female

Mangahas, Rolan

Opthamology

Male

Manuel, Jesse Jewel, MD

Surgery, Orthopedic

Male

Mendoza, Arturo, Jr., MD

Surgery, General (Laparoscopic)

Male

Ocampo, Armida, MD

Internal Medicine, Pulmonology

Female

Pasqual, Jeanette

Orthopedics

Female

Rojo, Jaime Jesus, MD

Internal Medicine, Oncology

Male

Rojo, Margaret, MD

Anesthesiology

Female

Santos, Wilfredo, MD

Surgery, General ; Surgery, Oncology

Male

Soriano, Maria Agnes, MD

Internal Medicine, Diabetology

Female

Tablan, Apolonario Jr

Urology

Male

Velchez, Carlos

Hematology/Int Med

Male

Villareal, Paolo, MD

Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology

Male

 


FMP/Tricare

We continue to see vets who are receiving EOB's and checks for treatment at Medical City and Baypointe (ACE). Please be aware you should not cash these checks. They should be given to the hospitals. Should you cash the check a few things can happen, 1st FMP or Tricare may demand repayment, if you don't they can notify the IRS and either a garnishment or 1099 will be received and they get their money in the end possibly including interest. It can also be placed on your credit report. Secondly, you may be refused future treatment at the hospitals as you have an outstanding balance. Worst of all we may lose the hospitals as providers for FMP or Tricare. Sure wouldn't want to be the guy who causes all your fellow vets to lose that, they might be a little pissed when they find out it was you! You know how quickly word spreads around here!


Videos

Just want to draw your attention to some very useful videos being offered for free through va by psycharmor. View their catalog at https://psycharmor.Org/course s/s-a-v-e/.


Urgent Update: REIMBURSEMENT CHECKS:
It appears there is a malfunction with both TRICARE and FMP regarding reimbursement checks. They incorrectly recently have been sending the checks to the veteran vice the provider. Both have been notified this is the incorrect way to handle these checks! If you receive a check for a claim that was filed by the Hospital, please do not cash it. The hospitals participation was negotiated so that the hospital would receive payment. If they do not we will lose their services. The payment must be taken to the hospital and signed over to them to be encashed.

US Embassy Outreach 17 May Thursday 8-11
Mansion Garden Hotel SBMA

Delinquent membership dues, effective 1 June any unpaid boxes will be closed and mail returned to sender. Reopening of the box will include late fee.


FMP, still have vets who are rated with service connected disabilites who have not registered.


American Medical Assoc, has redefined high blood pressure numbers to 130-139, hopefully VA will soon follow suit.


No new word on ACE Hospital Tricare, Gordon and Medical City Clark, only current tricare certified in Olongapo area.




Special thank you to police station 6 Barrio Baretto for notification of recently deceased American Citizen! Their handling of situation was extremely professional, thanks SPO De Leon.

 


Location: Philippines

Event: Health officials in the Philippines have reported an outbreak of measles throughout the country.

Actions to Take:

  • U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the Philippines should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Learn more about preventing measles and what to do if you think you have it on the measles page for travelers.
  • Read the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) webpage Measles in the Philippines.


Assistance:
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
+63 (2) 301-2000

ACSInfoManila@state. gov

State Department - Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Philippines Country Information

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook


Health Alert - U.S. Embassy Manila
(April 13, 2018)
United States Embassy Manila, Philippines

Location: Philippines

Event: Health officials in the Philippines have reported an outbreak of measles throughout the country.

Actions to Take:

  • U.S. citizens living in or traveling to the Philippines should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Learn more about preventing measles and what to do if you think you have it on the measles page for travelers.
  • Read the Center for Disease Control's (CDC's) webpage Measles in the Philippines.


Assistance:
U.S. Embassy in the Philippines
+63 (2) 301-2000

ACSInfoManila@state. gov

State Department - Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

Philippines Country Information

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook


RAO Update March 2018
Ladies and Gentlemen: I'm pleased to inform you that beginning this weekend, the OTMG will begin enforcing a number of rules to try to alleviate the ever worsening conditions here in Barrio Barretto. Under the leadership of Mayor Rolen Paulino, Capt. Angelito Baloy and Maj. Camilo Pablo (Head, OTMG) plans have been put into place to not only try to reduce travel times to/from Bo. Barretto, but help ensure the safety of our residents and visitors. For the last 10 days, the Traffic Management Group have been gearing up to try to reduce the horrible congestion we're experiencing and will, undoubtedly experience this coming weekend. We met a couple of weeks ago and discussed a number of things. That end, the following have been implemented:
  1. Designated jeepney pick up/drop off zones. These are no parking and spaced about 40 meters apart along both sides of the road.
  2. Diverted trike traffic entering the city to Gabaya Street with drop offs at the intersections perpendicular to National Highway.
  3. Deployed 11 officers who will be stationed along National Highway.
  4. Stopped the clamping tow away EXCEPT FOR CARS PARKED IN THE NO PARKING ZONES. In a bit of bad communication, Sunday they were issuing tickets to cars parked on the shoulder. I got one as did the head of the RAO. If you happened to get one, bring it to me, and it will be negated.

The only thing I've noticed is that SOME trike drivers are ignoring the detour and a few jeepney drivers stopping wherever they please. With the increased presence of enforcement officers, they might start adhering to regulations.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Our sincere thanks to Mayor Rolen, Capt. Gie and Maj. Pablo.

MAC Flights at Clark
IMPORTANT SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT

BULTEZ, BRIAN T GS-11 USAF AMC 733 AMS/OL-A Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 11:17 AM

Good Morning, Effective Immediately, The Philippine Air Force has implemented restricted base access to all foreign space-a travelers. The Armed Forces Philippines (AFP) are now enforcing strict compliance to foreign nationals visiting any PAF installations throughout the Philippines. The guidance that has been put in place requires that any foreign nationals (Including Space-A passengers, Retirees etc.) visiting any AFP installations are required to formally submit a written request to AFP Chief of Staff through the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence at least 2 weeks prior to the planned visitation. However, we are in the process of working with JUSMAG and US Embassy to make an exception for space-a travelers. Until further notice will are forced to limit space-a travel to those who comply and submit the required visitation request and have been approved until an agreement can be reached. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we are working diligently to fix this temporary issue.

On another note. We are currently upgrading our phone and internet service here at the AMC (Haribon) Terminal to fiber optics in an effort to eliminate downtime to the flight recorder etc. With the upgrade we were required to change the flight recording info number to 045-499-8164. However, due to the holiday this week the line has not yet been activated so the recording is down until at least Monday April 2. The old number 045-499-7279 is no longer active. Due to the line being down and the current restricted access to the base. There will be no three day flight schedule advertised. However, if you have any questions regarding the current restriction or space-A eligibility. Please call our cellphone (During the hours of 0800-1700L daily only please) at 0999-887-1648 or 0920-970-5030.

Smoking in Public

Looks like the smoking police are patrolling again, The station 6 facebook page shows a picture of a foreigner criminal (face blurred out) who was arrested for smoking on National Highway. Please be advised they are apparently not just fining these hardened criminals, but arresting them. Be warned.


RAO Update February 2018

PROBLEMS WITH SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK?????????
WE ARE EXPERIENCING A NUMBER OF CASES FROM MEMBERS WHO HAVE NOT RECEIVED THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS THIS MONTH. MOST OFTEN THIS IS DUE TO THE MEMBER HAVING MADE A CHANGE IN THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY, WHETHER IT BE A ADDRESS CHANGE OR DIRECT DEPOSIT CHANGE. The Primary reason we are seeing in their not receiving their check, is that once a year social security sends out a letter asking if there has been any life changes. social security waits 90 days and if no response is received, they resend the letter. in the event 90 more days pass and no response is received, social security suspends the payments. Usually this occurs if the address social security has for the member is a local address not the RAO FPO box. The member must contact social security to rectify this problem. the number is 02-301-2000 ext 9. The RAO stands ready to assist in this effort, but as this is a toll call a small charge of 5 pesos per minute must be charged.

TRICARE AT BAYPOINTE UPDATE
In our last update you were notified that TRICARE at Baypointe has been suspended as they are undergoing a name change and must be recertified, I failed to mention that includes the Dr's associated with Baypointe. The good news is, our discussions with international SOS in Singapore who facilitates the TRICARE program for the Philippines, has resulted in a temporary reprieve to allow Baypointe to accept TRICARE patients on a case by case basis. You can go to Baypointe for care and the HMO/TRICARE receptionist will contact SOS to request authorization for your care. "If granted" all is well and the process is the same as prior to the suspension.

UPDATE TO ALIMONY DEDUCTION CHANGE WITH NEW TAX LAW
As we discussed in a prior update, Congress included a provision in the new tax law passed last December that Alimony payments (Spousal Support) will no longer be deductible by the person paying the Alimony, and the Alimony recipient will no longer have to report Alimony payments as taxable income. However, some of members were worried that this change will affect ex-spouses already paying alimony. We're sending out this memo to clarify that you will still be able to deduct those payments if you're currently paying Alimony.

If you get divorced before December 31, 2018, you will still get to deduct your Alimony payments.And your right to that deduction will be grandfathered-in even after the new tax law goes into effect on January 1, 2019. Also, if you are already divorced and paying alimony, your right to deduct those payments will continue into the future.

So, if you are thinking about divorce, and you think you will be ordered to pay Alimony, it may be to your benefit to get divorced before the end of the year, and save your tax deduction. It will save you a lot of money. But be aware, a smart spouse will try to drag the divorce into the new year to dodge being required to report Alimony as taxable income. Tax-free Alimony will look good to them. It is important to discuss this issue with your divorce attorney and develop a plan of attack.

NO LONG TERM PARKING ON NATIONAL HIGHWAY
As of yesterday, it appears the city of Olongapo has once again began it's selective enforcement of Philippine Traffic Law. They will begin towing vehicles who park long term on National Highway, (they had a tow truck with them yesterday). Apparently this is to alleviate the traffic congestion on the highway. Other laws such as No trikes allowed on the highway and the requirement for wearing of helmets on motorcycles and no more than 2 persons on a motorcycle, continue to be ignored/ unenforced, just like the solid yellow line on the street signifying no passing, or u turns. I will leave it to you to surmise why this continues. You can park and do your business as long as it doesnt take longer than they determine it should. Just a word to the wise.


Urgent Tricare News

Effective tomorrow morning Baypointe Hospital is not accepting TRICARE patients!

If you need care under TRICARE you will need to go to either Gordon Hosp or Medical City.

As I had published about 2 months ago, Baypointe is undergoing re certification through TRICARE as a result of a name change. That is normally a 90 day process, but a request for expediting the process has been made. We will notify all soon as they are accepting TRICARE again.

If you are at Baypointe you have probably been notified that tomorrow morning you are no longer being billed as TRICARE. If that is the case you have the following options;
1. If you require additional treatment you can transfer to Gordon or Medical City.
2. You can continue to have treatment there and pay out of pocket.
3. If medically stable and don't require additional care you can be discharged.

 I have spoken with TRICARE and was informed they have not yet received official notification of the request for name change and until such time as they do, they will continue to reimburse for treatment received at Baypointe. Once they do they will notify the RAO and we will publish that info.

Please pass this info to all your TRICARE eligible friends!! and fellow VETS.


January Updates

HAPPY NEW YEAR! The below stated changes and a previously published change will become effective 1 Jan 2018. Firstly the previous change effected the renaming of TRICARE STANDARD, to TRICARE SELECT. If you were enrolled in STANDARD, on 1 JAN 2018 you will be in SELECT. NO action by you is required. (TRICARE for LIFE remains unchanged.)

The new change is also simply a renaming of the program and renames APPROVED PROVIDERS to PREFERRED PROVIDERS.
The new program name is The Preferred Provider Network (PPN)
The name change from APPROVED PROVIDER to PREFERRED PROVIDER, basically is simply that. Under the old program an Approved Provider is one who will file your claim and accept the allowable payment amount TRICARE will pay them for treatment. They are now known as Preferred Providers.

Under the old and new program a Certified Provider does not file your claim and any charges above the TRICARE allowable amount must be paid by you.. The name and what they will do has not changed.
Please read the below announcement, it is a little confusing but while reading it keep in mind the above explanations.

IF YOU'RE UNABLE TO UNDERSTAND ANY OF IT, COME INTO THE RAO AND WE WILL ATTEMPT TO HELP YOU DECIPHER IT SO YOU'RE CLEAR ON THE CHANGE. NO QUESTIONS BY EMAIL PLEASE> THANK YOU!
TRICARE Philippine Demonstration Ends, New Preferred-Provider Network Begins 12/29/2017

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, a preferred-provider network (PPN) will be available in the Philippines. The establishment of the PPN by the Defense Health Agency marks the end of the Philippine Demonstration. Any provider currently approved in the Philippine Demonstration will be available as part of the PPN.
The Philippine Demonstration began Jan. 1, 2013 as a way to offer high-quality health care for eligible TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Standard beneficiaries who live in the Philippines and receive care in designated demonstration areas. The demonstration project will conclude at midnight on Dec. 31, 2017. Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, your copayments, cost-shares deductibles and catastrophic caps will be the same as those enrolled in the TRICARE Select health plan. Keep in mind your out-of-pocket costs may be lower when using a preferred provider.

If you live or travel in the Philippines, you'll be required to see a certified provider for care. However, you're encouraged to see a preferred provider. You should always check the certification for any provider from whom you seek care, even if that provider was previously approved. Visit the TOP website to find a network provider.

If you choose a provider that isn't TRICARE certified or preferred, it may result in significant delays in processing your claim. Your claim may also be denied if the provider declines or can't be certified by TRICARE.
Learn more about how to get care in the Philippines on the TOP website. For the latest costs, visit www.tricare.mil/changes/ costs.

Approved demonstration providers (known as preferred providers effective 1 jan 2018) have signed agreements to accept established TRICARE-allowable reimbursement rates, submit claims to the TOP claims processor on your behalf, and collect only the applicable deductible and costshares from you for all TRICARE-covered services. Approved demonstration providers are certified providers who have complied with on-site verification, provider certification, credentialing requirements, and Philippine Demonstration reimbursement procedures. You are responsible for paying your deductible and cost-shares to the approved demonstration provider, who has the option of collecting payment at the time of service or after filing a claim and receiving the TRICARE EOB. Approved demonstration providers may ask to see your military identification (ID) card, Philippine-issued ID card, or other forms of ID to verify your identity and physical mailing address. Approved demonstration providers are also trained to validate TRICARE coverage using the secure claims portal on www.tricare-overseas.com. Before any claim is processed, the TOP contractor must ensure that the provider has gone through the certification process.

Certified providers in the Philippines meet TRICARE required on-site verification and provider certification requirements. However, certified providers within a Philippine Demonstration area do not agree to the additional conditions necessary to be approved demonstration providers. For example, a certified provider in the Philippines may require TRICARE beneficiaries to pay up front for all services and file their own claims for reimbursement. There may be no limit to the billed amount that certified providers (who do not participate in the Philippine Demonstration) charge in the Philippines. You are responsible for paying any amount that exceeds the TRICAREallowable charge in addition to your deductible and costshares. Visit www.tricare.mil/costs for more information.


Greetings from the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic!

Please be advised the U.S. Embassy to include the VA Manila Regional Office and Outpatient Clinic (OPC) have implemented new entrance requirements and has added to the list of restricted items that cannot be carried into a U.S. Embassy facility/property.

In addition, Veterans are being reminded about important changes that became effective October 2, 2017.
1. No ID, No Entrance, No Exceptions: Effective October 1, 2017 the U.S. Embassy Regional Security Office no longer permit Veterans, attendants, and family members to enter a U.S. Embassy facility to include the VA Manila Regional Office and Outpatient Clinic without a valid picture ID. This includes all Veterans and their family members. Family members and attendants over the age of 14 will also need to provide a valid ID.

2. Prohibited Items: Laptop computers including large device and tablets have been added to the list of US Embassy restricted items (e.g. any kind to include pocket knives, cameras, recording devices, and any larger electronic devices). Neither the U.S. Embassy guards nor VA staff are not permitted to accept or store the device. Also, taking pictures and recording videos are prohibited. Recordings will be subject to deletions.

3. Walk-in Hours: Veterans without a scheduled appointment may walk-in to the VA Manila Regional Office and Outpatient Clinic from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Veterans without a scheduled appointment may not enter the facility after 1 pm.

4. Beneficiary Travel Discontinued: Effective October 1, 2017, VA Manila Outpatient Clinic discontinued paying beneficiary travel.

5. Letters of Authority: Effective October 1, 2017, VA Manila Outpatient Clinic (OPC) discontinued issuing Letters of Authority (LOA) for all care that cannot be provided by (OPC). However, OPC continues to provide the same primary and specialty care, medications, laboratory, X-Ray and prosthetics services to qualified Veterans enrolled in the clinic.

6. Foreign Medical Program: Effective October 1, 2017, the FMP will pay or reimburse for all care and services outside of VA Manila OPC, e.g., outpatient, inpatient hospitalization, emergency care, diagnostics, dialysis, chemotherapy, etc. Veterans may pay the provider and then file for FMP reimbursement by submitting the bill and medical documentation to FMP, or their provider, if willing, may submit the bill and medical documentation for direct payment by FMP. Any non-service connected (NSC) care acquired from the community is at your expense.

7. Hospitals That Will Bill FMP: Listed below are hospitals that will accept the FMP "benefits authorization letter" and have agreed to bill FMP for care/services provided to treat the Veteran’s service connected conditions. Please present your FMP "benefits authorization letter" every time you need treatment in the hospitals listed below. Failure to present the FMP "benefits authorization letter" will require you to make outright payment for services and seek reimbursement from the FMP. Any FMP reimbursement claims that are not for service-connected disabilities will be rejected by FMP.
- Avitus Kidney Care
- Baypoint Hospital - Olongapo (Baypoint is changing their name to ACE effective November 1, 2017).
- Divine Grace - Cavite
- Lorma Medical City - LaUnion
- Manila Doctors - United Nations Blvd
- Metro Psychiatry Facility - Pasig
- Sacred Heart - Angeles
- The Medical City - Clark
- The Medical City - Iloilo
- The Medical City - Ortigas
- St. Luke’s, Quezon City

The OPC staff continue to meet with community hospitals to encourage them to transition from VA to FMP. Veterans are also encouraged to solicit their providers of choice to participate in FMP. The list above will be updated as facilities are added and/or deleted. The list of participating hospitals is subject to change without notice and the VA is not responsible if the facility above chooses not to participate. For additional information, please contact the VA Manila Regional Office or Outpatient Clinic by calling 02 550-3888 and press the appropriate number.


There may be a short term lapse in TRICARE coverage as they may have to be re-certified, in that event we will try to get the word out soon as we know. If that occurs vets and family can use Medical City for that period if they desire. This does not effect FMP coverage.

The RAO has provided both Baypointe and Medical City clark with FMP authorization letters on the following vets:

Ace Mangiliman Verville
Ardon Morgan Walker
Avens Oppenheimer Wright
Dollete Ream Yost
Elio Robinson  
Fortin Sargent  
Fox Smith WA  
Hinson Spillers  
Leuenberger Turner  

If you have received your FMP letter please drop off a copy so we can forward to both Hospitals.

FMP is about 2 weeks from becoming reality. If you have been living in a cave, or just got back from a long stay in the states and have no idea what FMP is, please come in and I'll explain it yo you. If you have not already requested registration, you are already nearly 3 weeks late and will not be able to receive service connected treatment from FMP providers, until you have your letter. Once you get your letter please check it against ebenefits and provide a copy to the RAO for filing at Baypointe and Medical City, thanks


2018 VA Manila Benefits Fact Sheet For Distribution to All Veterans Living in the Philippines

Greetings from the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic

Here is the FY2018 Fact Sheet that is effective October 1, 2017. The fact sheet provides important information about the medical care and services available to U.S. Veterans living and traveling in the Philippines. To avail of services to treat a rated/adjudicated service connected condition, Veterans are advised to enroll in both the VA Manila Outpatient Clinic and the Foreign Medical Program (FMP).

The VA Outpatient Clinic will continue to provide the same primary and specialty care, medications, laboratory, X-Ray and prosthetics services that are now available in the clinic. The Foreign Medical Program (FMP) will pay or reimburse for all care and services outside of the clinic, e.g., outpatient, inpatient hospitalization, emergency care, diagnostics, dialysis, chemotherapy, etc.

FMP is a world-wide VA program so in addition to obtaining medical care and services in the Philippines, Veterans can also use FMP while living or traveling in other foreign countries. Upon registering in the Foreign Medical Program, the Veteran will receive a “benefits authorization letter”. The authorization letter lists all of the Veterans rated and adjudicated service connected conditions and should be presented to the treating facility/provider when obtaining services or care that are not available in the clinic.

Listed below are hospitals that will accept the FMP “benefits authorization letter” and have agreed to bill FMP for care/services provided to treat the Veteran’s service connected conditions. When the letter is not provided, the Veteran will be expected to pay for services and seek reimbursement from the FMP. The cost of medical care/services that are not service connected must be paid by the Veteran.

  1. Divine Grace - Cavite
  2. Manila Doctors - United Nations Blvd
  3. Metro Psychiatry Facility - Pasig
  4. Sacred Heart - Angeles
  5. The Medical City - Clark
  6. The Medical City - Iloilo
  7. Lorma Medical City - LaUnion
  8. Baypoint Hospital - Olongapo
  9. St. Luke’s, Quezon City

The clinic staff continue to meet with hospitals to encourage them to transition from VA to FMP. The list above will be updated as facilities are added and/or deleted. The list of participating hospitals is subject to change without notice and the VA is not responsible if the facility above chooses not to participate.


New RAO Service to Members
RAO has added an additional service for our Vets. Thru an arrangement with Cebu Pacific, we have allowed them to load one of our computers with a direct link to their company. They are offering corporate fares to our Vets for flights throughout SouthEast Asia and Guam. The RAO is offering this service at no fee and receives no payments for doing this, it is simply in the interest of providing all the services we can. You can research and reserve your flight, just like you would do on your own computer, but in this case they offer you better rates. You then pay for it through a variety of places such as 7/11. You must come into the office as we will not be able to assist you over the phone or via email.

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


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.


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

 

FY 2014 VA Manila Handbook

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

 
 
 
 
 
U.S./PHILIPPINE HOLIDAYS 2018
New Year's U.S./PHL Mon, Jan 1
M. L. King Jr. U.S. Mon, Jan 15
Chinese New Year PHL Fri, Feb 16
Presidents U.S. Mon, Feb 19
Maundy Thurs PHL Thu, Mar 29
Good Friday PHL Fri, Mar 30
Bataan & Corregidor PHL Mon, Apr 9
Phil. Labor PHL Tue, May 1
U.S. Memorial U.S. Mon, May 28
Philippine Independence PHL Tue, Jun 12
Eid-ul-Fitr PHL Fri, Jun 15
U.S. Independence U.S. Wed, Jul 4
Ninoy Aquino PHL Tue, Aug 21
Heroes PHL Mon, Aug 27
U.S. Labor U.S. Mon, Sep 3
Columbus U.S. Mon, Oct 8
All Saints PHL Thur, Nov 1
Veterans U.S. Mon, Nov 12
Thanksgiving U.S. Thu, Nov 22
Bonifacio PHL Fri, Nov 30
Christmas U.S./PHL Tue, Dec 25
Rizal Day PHL Sun, 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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