PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa said dependents of retired or deceased policemen could lose their pension if they fail to report the death of the primary beneficiary and update other essential information.
“If they fail to report the deaths, automatic, the pension must be cancelled. I am going to that direction, I am going to recommend that,” Gamboa said in an interview over the weekend in Baguio City.
He said that this is part of the PNP’s effort to cleanse the pensioners list following a report by the Commission on Audit (COA) that the government, through the PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Services (PRBS), is losing millions of pesos in payouts to ineligible, unqualified and fake claimants.
Gamboa said there are more than 77,000 PNP pensioners nationwide at present.
Initially, he said they have discovered that some beneficiaries do not report the death of the retired police personnel or the death of the wife or husband of the deceased pensioner.
Monthly pensions are released through online banking which makes it difficult for the PRBS to validate the status of the pensioners.
Gamboa said it was easier in the past when documents must be signed every time the pension is released and the pensioners were asked to submit a photo of themselves holding a recent issue of a newspaper.
He said the PRBS offices in the regions are all undermanned, with each office having only two to three personnel making validation difficult.
The government provides pension to the wife or husband of deceased PNP members and their children below 18 years old.
The pension is terminated if the wife or husband of the deceased PNP member would remarry or would die, and their children reached the age of 18.
Gamboa said there have been reports that the immediate family of the retired and deceased police personnel would intentionally not update the records to continuously receive monthly pension even though 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. (SunStar Philippines)