AFP yet to recover P105M paid to dead pensioners – COA

Lian Buan

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AFP yet to recover P105M paid to dead pensioners – COA
'These funds should have been utilized for other valid and urgent claims from the national government,' COA says

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has yet to recover P105 million in pension funds it had paid to dead recipients with no beneficiaries, a Commission on Audit report showed.

The COA found P105 million worth of deficiencies in the military’s pension fund after the audit for 2016 revealed the amount was paid to dead pensioners with no qualified beneficiaries.

The AFP disclosed to COA that it paid P232.43 million to dead pensioners but had since recovered only P127.108 million, or only 54.69%, of that amount.

That leaves P105.329 million which “is yet to be recovered or may no longer be recovered,” COA said in its 2016 audit report of the AFP, but did not specify its reason for saying so.

Poor tracking system

COA said AFP’s poor tracking system kept it from determining the real status of the  pensioners.

“It appears therefore that these deceased pensioners were not regularly monitored as to their real status and that they were continuously paid although no longer qualified to receive benefits until their deletion from the payroll,” COA said.

The unrecovered amount is a violation of several budgeting laws and the AFP’s standard operating procedures.

Under the AFP Charter, “all collections from recovered pensions and unclaimed or dormant pension funds, due to overpayment of unreported death with no qualified beneficiaries, payment to unauthorized beneficiaries, and overpayment of miscomputed pension collected shall be deposited in the authorized government servicing banks.”

COA said the AFP should have been regularly remitting to the Bureau of Treasury. According to COA, overpayment to dead pensioners “is a perennial problem because of ineffective monitoring system in keeping track of the real status of pensioners and defective pension information system structure.”

“This resulted in wastage of government resources through unnecessary use of allotments and cash allocations. These funds should have been utilized for other valid and urgent claims from the national government,” COA said.

AFP told COA it will improve its tracking system, and that it will coordinate with the retirees’ organizations and financial institutions to this end.

AFP proposed to create a Concerns and Response  Section and establish 16 more satellite offices. –

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.