PNP chief wants ‘ineligible, fake pension claimants’ purged

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Archie Gamboa on Monday said he will call for the cancellation of dependents' pension of retired and deceased policemen should they fail to report deaths of the primary beneficiary and other essential information needed in the pension system.

He said this is part of efforts to purge the pensioner's list following reports that the government is losing millions of money from ineligible, unqualified and fake claimants.

If they fail to report the deaths, automatic, the pension must be canceled. I am going to that direction, I am going to recommend that, Gamboa told reporters in a press briefing over the weekend in Baguio City.

Last week, Gamboa ordered a nationwide accounting of the list of PNP pensioners in response to the report of the Commission on Audit (COA) that the PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Services (PRBS) is possibly being duped by some claimants.

According to Gamboa, there are more than 77,000 pensioners from the PNP across the country.

Among the initial findings is that beneficiaries do not report the death of the retired police personnel or the death of the wife or husband of the deceased pensioners.

Since the pension are mostly paid through online banking, the PRBS is having difficulty validating the status of the pensioners and their beneficiaries unlike before that documents must be signed every time the pension is released or that the pensioners are being asked to have a photo holding the recent issue of a newspaper.

PRBS offices in the regions are all undermanned, with each office only having two to three personnel. This makes it difficult for them to verify those in the pension list.

Based on the policy, the wife of deceased retirees and their children below 18 years old are listed as beneficiaries of the pension.

The pension is only terminated if the wife or husband of the deceased policeman would remarry or would die, and their children reached the age of 18.

But there were reports that the immediate family of the retired and deceased police personnel would not update the records, purposely for the continuity of the pension although they are no longer qualified.

The relatives have this obligation to help the government by updating the status and if they are being dishonest, they must be sanctioned. Sometimes, we really have to be harsh for some people to understand, Gamboa said.

He said the purging of the list is just an initial action plan in order to ensure that the retirement pay from the government would go to the rightful beneficiaries.

However, Gamboa said it is just recommendatory since there is an issue of jurisdiction of the PNP over its retirees, explaining that there is a specific agency that handles all the matters on retirees.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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