There’s ‘something fishy’ at PVAO, coffers empty? | Inquirer Opinion

There’s ‘something fishy’ at PVAO, coffers empty?

/ 02:35 AM September 05, 2011

This is about pensioners who were required by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) to change their bank to make for a faster and safer way to send their pensions. PVAO told them that their pensions would be withheld until they shall have complied with the requirement.

It was too cumbersome for the elderly pensioners to go through the paperwork and process of changing banks. But they had to, otherwise no pension would be forthcoming for them. Seven months have passed since the pensioners complied with the requirement, but still no pensions—we are talking here of pensions for seven months—simply because, the banks say, no remittances from PVAO have been made.

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It now appears that the requirement may have been just a ploy to give PVAO a reason for not remitting the pensions. PVAO tells the pensioners to just continue making follow-ups

either with the PVAO office or with their banks but, again, even this is much of a hassle.

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PVAO’s phones are either out-of-service or busy. And if by happenstance a call gets through, nobody answers. When you make a follow-up through e-mail, PVAO just endorses you to [email protected], saying that is their Claims Division; but when you send an

e-mail to that address, you get no reply.

What in the world is happening at PVAO? Why is it giving elderly pensioners headaches and heartaches? Instead of helping them with a sense of urgency, especially because they have little time left in the world, PVAO makes things difficult for them. The pensioners need their monthly pensions and they need answers from PVAO why the pensions are not being remitted. If no explanation would be given, we can only  surmise that the pensioners may be the victims, again, of another scam.

Recently, PVAO told the pensioners that before it could process their papers, they first have to secure a police clearance and submit this to PVAO. For what? Why didn’t PVAO tell this to the pensioners when they submitted the papers seven months ago? Doesn’t PVAO know that some of the pensioners come from far-flung provinces? What benefits do pensioners get by complying with this endless list of requirements? Is PVAO buying time so it can use the pension money first for something else?

Something fishy is going on at PVAO.

—ROBERT A. GARCIA, 72 Acacia, Gordon Heights, Olongapo City

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TAGS: Pensions, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, PVAO
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