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COMING SOON: police retiree pensions via ATM

Rappler.com
The shift from paychecks to ATM cards is supposed to be implemented within 2012, Rappler learned upon inquiring further with the budget department

MANILA, Philippines – Retired cops will soon receive their pensions via Automated Teller Machines (ATM) machines. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad made this announcement in a press release on Wednesday, April 11.

The shift from paychecks to ATM cards is supposed to be implemented within 2012, Rappler learned upon inquiring further with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). But this is hinged on the condition that the Philippine National Police (PNP) submits the list of retirees to the DBM.

“By switching from check to ATM payments, our retired uniformed personnel can gain better and easier access to the benefits due them,” Abad explained in the press release. 

Prevent fraud

Abad added, ” 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.” 

He said this is because 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.

The projected number of retirees from the PNP for 2012 is at 60,049, a figure projected to increase to 66,646 in 2013.

“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,” Abad said.

“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.

Efficiency

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.

Previously, the department has already shifted release of pension benefits from check payments to ATMs for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO). – Rappler.com

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