PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa said charges are being prepared against more than 1,000 unqualified pensioners who have been receiving pension from the PNP Pension Fund.
"We have identified them in the nationwide accounting of the police organization’s pensioners and we will immediately purge the list to clean the records once and for all,” Gamboa said.
He said the PNP will exhaust all legal means to recover lost pension funds paid to ineligible claimants.
According to PNP Retirement Benefits Service acting Director Arthur Bisnar, a total of 1,027 pensioners were discovered to be no longer eligible based on grounds stipulated under the mandate of the Police Retirement Benefits Administration Service (PRBS).
The ineligible pensioners were discovered through the verification conducted by the pensioner track-care teams from the Police Regional Offices (PRO).
Due to the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) pandemic, the PNP launched pensioner track-care teams from the PROs to seek out the identified pensioners, instead of asking them to present themselves before the PRBS for accounting.
Gamboa earlier ordered the police regional directors to take the lead role in the nationwide cleansing of pensioners list following a report from the Commission on Audit (COA) that the government, through the PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Services (PRBS), is losing millions of money to pay-out ineligible, unqualified and fake claimants.
The track-care teams were instructed to adhere to the community quarantine guidelines and protocols since most of these pensioners belong to the vulnerable age groups identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Since May 18, 2020, a total of 7,388 pensioners have been accounted for by PROs track-care teams. Of this number, 1,027 of were found to be no longer eligible for claims.
Among those disqualified were beneficiaries who died in 2012 or have re-married as far back as 2003 and continued to claim pension.
The whereabouts of some 1,023 beneficiaries can no longer be established while eleven names were found to have been duplicate entries.
“The accounts of these disqualified and unaccounted pensioners with Landbank, through which they receive their benefits, have been tagged and put on hold, and deleted from the pensioner alphalist,” said Gamboa.
“This means that pensions will continue to be credited in these Landbank pension accounts but these funds cannot be withdrawn until such time that the account owner has updated their status with PRBS,” he added.
However, Gamboa said qualified pensioners who cannot be located by reason that they were stranded or severely affected by the ongoing pandemic should immediately contact the PRBS through its hotline numbers: Globe - 09777145263 Smart - 09618990928 Sun - 09310644316 ™ - 09534135924.
The pensioner track-care teams are still seeking 10,260 unaccounted beneficiaries before the deadline given by Gamboa lapses on June 7. (SunStar Philippines)