Wrong payment reason behind ‘missing’ pensions

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This is in response to the letter titled “Vet’s missing pensions” of retired M/Sgt. Marcelo Cruz Ortigoza (Inquirer, 1/21/13).

Ortigoza’s old age pension has been suspended effective May 2012 when it was found out that he was inadvertently paid the Total Administrative Disability (TAD) pension in the amount of P166,100 some time in 2010. The payment represented partial payment of TAD arrears that are supposedly to be given to World War II veterans only. Since Ortigoza is not a World War II veteran, the TAD payment had to be recovered by way of offsetting it against his old age pension.

The error was discovered during the revalidation of his pensioner status. He was misclassified as a World War II veteran, the reason his name was included in the list of World War II veterans and thus he was subsequently paid TAD arrearages.

Notably, when the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office discovered the inadvertent TAD payment, Ortigoza was officially informed in writing, on May 17, 2012, that PVAO has to recover the TAD payment by offsetting the same against his monthly old age pension from May 2012 until February 2016.

Apparently, the letter did not reach Ortigoza because it was sent to Inas, North Cotabato, his registered address with PVAO, instead of his present address at 9927 Red Ginger, Elk Grove, California, USA, as indicated in his letter to the Inquirer.

PVAO has also communicated with the AFP Finance Center as regards his retirement pension, and we have been informed that his pension is being regularly deposited to his bank account.

We thank the Inquirer for informing us of Ortigoza’s plight, with our assurance that his regular pension will resume as soon as the overpayment shall have been fully settled.

—MARIA JUANITA S. FAJARDO-RIVERA,

public information officer,

Office of the Administrator,

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office

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