After successfully shifting the release of pension benefits from check payments to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad announced that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will execute the same format for pension releases to Philippine National Police (PNP) retirees.
“By switching from check to ATM payments, our retired uniformed personnel can gain better and easier access to the benefits due them. Not only does this expedite the process for claiming benefits among pensioners. It is also a definite step toward improving transparency in the pension release system, which used to be rife with irregularities,” Abad said.
He said that coursing pension payments through electronic banking will allow the government to weed out fictitious or ghost entries from the existing pensioner database, as well as prevent the creation of fraudulent accounts.
“Through the ATM platform, PNP retirees will need to personally open a bank account in the presence of a bank officer, thus preventing unscrupulous individuals from opening fraudulent accounts. This goes beyond changing to an electronic format to keep up with the times. It’s also about establishing a systematic method so that public funds are properly managed and will directly benefit their intended recipients,” Abad said.
The projected number of retirees from the PNP for 2012 is at 60,049, a figure projected to increase to 66,646 in 2013.
Abad added that releasing pension benefits through ATMs is part of the Administration’s commitment to improve the delivery of services to PNP retirees, many of whom depend on their pension for supporting basic expenses, including those incurred for medical care.
“Releasing their pension through ATMs will ensure that our PNP retirees will get the necessary financial aid faster and more efficiently. This is particularly important for individuals who urgently need their benefits to support their health care requirements,” Abad said.
The budget chief also confirmed that the DBM will soon implement the same changes for other retired uniformed personnel, including those from the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology.