CGM AWARDS POLICY
FilVetREP Policy Change on the Congressional Gold Medal Awards
The Congressional Gold Medal (CGM), the highest award bestowed by U.S. Congress to an individual or group who contributed immeasurably to American history and culture, honors the service and sacrifice of Filipino and American World War II veterans.
On November 30, 2016, the United States Congress passed the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 (S.1555). This historic event in American history is the culmination of 75 years of effort to secure recognition for the 260,000 soldiers who fought under the American flag from July 26,1941 to December 31, 1946.
The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP), headed by Major General Antonio M. Taguba, U.S. Army Retired, led a nationwide campaign to achieve the nation’s highest civilian award.
Since its implementation in Oct 25, 2017, FilVetREP has conducted more than ninety ceremonies across the U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. Similar ceremonies have also been held in the Philippines. To date, more than 5,000 (?) living veterans and next-of-kin have received this medal.
CGM Awards Presentations
While Congress approved this award, it only appropriated funds for the minting of a single gold CGM. FilvetREP had to raise funds to purchase bronze replicas of CGM from the U.S. Mint. In addition to the cost of bronze replicas, the production costs for conducting CGM award ceremonies have also been funded by FilVetREP.
In 2020, the U.S. Mint increased the cost of a CGM bronze replica. The original value of the CGM set (CGM with case plus souvenir program and PL) was set at $100.00. In Jan 2020, the US Mint increased the price of the CGM and case to $160 each and $35 each, respectively. A complete set, which includes a case, a copy of Public Law 114-265, a copy of the souvenir program and shipping, now costs $235.
Moreover, a small ceremony (10-15 recipients) is costing FilVetREP an average of $5000.00, while a large ceremony (20 to 100) can cost up to 27,000.00.
Other expenses associated with awards presentations include audio visual costs for virtual and hybrid productions.
In a few instances, donors, community organizations and some families have helped subsidize these award presentations.
Given these factors, FilVetREP is now faced with financial challenges. Since mid-2020, FilVetREP’s budget reflected an estimated loss of 60% to 70% in revenue due to lack of donations/repayments to equate what was expended up front. The year 2021 did not generate a breakeven point.
FILVETREP’s funding stream was shifted in 2019 to prioritize the “Duty to Country” education project and, with attempts to draw down the CGM award events. However, the funding for Duty to Country’s budget was accounted from generous sponsors and matching funds income, but not from any revenue generated by the CGM awards event. This situation has generated a confused and uneven budget situation that threatens Duty to Country and future programs (Repeal the Rescission Act) and potential exhibition of the Congressional Gold Medal at the National Museum of the U.S. Army.
FilVetREP is committed to conducting CGM award ceremonies but they will be limited in nature. The CGM is a symbol of recognition and honor, but we need recipients’ help to support the need.
After careful deliberation and consideration by the Board on February 19, 2022, FilVetREP has instituted the following policy, effective April 2022:
Next-of-Kin (NOK) recipients, whose applications have been approved, will initiate and purchase the CGM set directly from the U.S. Mint and pay FILVETREP in advance for the souvenir program and PL 114-265. Visit https://catalog.usmint.gov/filipino-veterans-of-world-war-ii-bronze-medal-MASTER_MLFV.html#start=1
The awards event will be conducted virtually. It will be funded by FilVetREP, with the help of donors and sponsors.
- Annual ceremony at the Bataan Memorial Death March event at Las Cruces/White Sands. Decision by the Board to hold CGM awards in-person with approved recipients will be considered on a case by case basis.
- A scheduled funded annual fundraising event. If additional funds are available to perform a CGM award ceremony such as Veterans Day event or similar event, the Board will decide on the whether to include a CGM award ceremony.
- A severely ill or dying WWII veteran whose wishes will be honored. This is on a case by case basis whereby a standing policy in FILVETREP states that a living Veteran will not pay for his CGM set.
- Any exception such as a “grandfather provision” will not be considered.
This policy change will remain in effect until October 31, 2022. The Board will decide NLT Sept 30 whether to cease accepting CGM applications and conducting CGM award ceremonies altogether in December 2022.