The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines – Saying ghost retirees in the National Police drain state coffers of P250 million yearly, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad has called on the PNP to switch to electronic banking for its retirement payments. This, he said, will rid the current police database of all ghost pensioners.
"This [loss of P250 million] is unacceptable and must be stopped immediately," he said.
Abad said the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Veterans Office have already made the complete transition to electronic banking for their pension payments.
"We urge the PNP to follow suit and make ATM payments mandatory for all their pensioners. Apart from speeding up the claims process for the beneficiaries, this will also help the PNP purge their database of ghost retirees," the budget chief said.
“As it stands, the check payment system is already a very time-consuming process for the pensioners. They have to go to their banks twice a month and stand in line just to encash their checks," he added.
The Retired PNP Officers Association earlier protested the government's move to switch to an ATM-based payment system.
The group has threatened to hold a rally on Monday (June 18) across all DBM regional offices.
The protesters hit the DBM for the delayed release of funds to support their pension increases scheduled this month.
Abad, however, said the funds released earlier this year to the PNP can suffice to cover the required pension adjustment.
He said the PNP will still need to update its list of confirmed pensioners before the release can be made.
The PNP earlier reported that at least 66 percent or 40,233 retirees in its database have been confirmed as genuine, while some 20,694 names have yet to be verified.