This is an urgent appeal to the chair, board members and president of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to settle the claims for the Bank Equity Benefit Differential Pay or BEBDP (also referred to as cost of living allowance or Cola) and the Amelioration Allowance (AA) of the petitioner-retirees, in the case of Numeriano Ronquillo et al. vs. DBP, in compliance with the decision of the Court of Appeals in GR SP No. 118640.
On Dec. 19, 2012, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of DBP retirees for the payment of fringe benefits, namely, the BEBDP and AA. All DBP employees received these benefits by virtue of a collective bargaining agreement between the DBP and the employees’ union way back in 1960; they continued to receive the same benefits until the passage of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL or RA 6758) in July 1, 1989, and its implementing circular, DBM Circular No. 10, which mandated the integration of certain allowances with the basic salary, such as the BEBDP and AA in the case of the DBP, among others. However, the Supreme Court on Aug. 12, 1998, ruled the SSL inoperative for lack of publication of DBM Circular No. 10.
The Supreme Court ruling prompted government employees to demand the payment and restoration of the Cola and AA; several government agencies complied with the ruling. However, DBP has continuously and consistently disregarded the decision issued by the Supreme Court.
To the complete dismay of former employees, the DBP in 2002 and 2003 paid out Cola and AA, disguised as a special economic assistance loan and a productivity incentive, to its incumbent employees, apparently with the intention to exclude retirees and those who had resigned from receiving their back allowances which were by law due them. In fact, the payments were made through the DBP Provident Fund of which former employees ceased to be members upon their retirement or resignation. DBP subsequently officially admitted that the special assistance loan and productivity incentive were in fact payments representing additional Cola and AA.
It is evident that while DBP has recognized the rights of the incumbent employees to the Cola and AA, it has continued to deny, refuse and reject the rightful claim of the retirees.
Several opinions by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and Supreme Court rulings have made it very clear that government employees, incumbents, as well as nonincumbents as of July 1, 1989, should receive backpay for the period July 1, 1989- March 16, 1999.
To the DBP management, please pay the retirees/resigned employees their long-denied benefits as most of them are already in their senior years and have no more source of income. Some retirees have already died without enjoying their hard-earned benefits. We, the retirees, ask nothing more but nothing less than what is rightfully due us under the law.
—NUMERIANO F. RONQUILLO,