PVAO pension ‘delay’ due to mix-up | Inquirer Opinion

PVAO pension ‘delay’ due to mix-up

09:12 PM November 10, 2011

This has reference to the letter of Col. Estela L. Yutadco (ret.) on behalf of her brother Col. Alfonso A. Lopez (“PVAO requirements in, but pension still out.” Inquirer, 10/14/11)

The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) has started remitting Lopez’s old age pension through his chosen pension servicing bank since September 2011. PVAO has also deposited in his account two checks representing full payment of his arrearages for the period Aug. 1, 2009 to August 2011 in the amount of P125,000.

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While Lopez’s old age pension was approved earlier on Oct. 10, 2010, shortly after filing his claim on Sept. 16, 2010, it was only in December 2010 that he opened a pension account with the Landbank San Pablo City, Laguna branch. Further, it was only in May 2011 that his son submitted to PVAO the Direct Remittance Form indicating his account number, in compliance with the Direct Remittance Payment Servicing System (DRPSS). It did not help that the submitted requirements were incomplete and the fingerprints appearing on the documents were blurred; thus, his case was referred by the Finance Division for dactyloscopy.

Dactyloscopy, which is the process of identity matching through fingerprint analysis, was adopted as one of the effective measures in the cleansing of our Pensioners Masterlist. PVAO made dactyloscopy mandatory for doubtful accounts as a control mechanism against identity thieves and fraudulent claimants, after some anomalous cases in the opening of bank accounts were uncovered.

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The discovery of pension claimants whose fingerprints did not match the original specimen in the applicants’ military service record underscored the need for this process. Due to the sheer volume of approved claims being processed prior to the approval of claims and enrollment in the DRPSS, we are currently upgrading our capacity to make the process more efficient by hiring additional dactyl analyzers and training two more. Meanwhile, the administrator has directed the exemption of AFP retirees from this procedure, particularly those who are already receiving retirement pension from the AFP.

When Lopez’s claim was brought to our attention, we immediately communicated with him directly. He informed us that his account with Landbank San Pablo City branch was already closed and that he has opened a new account with Landbank Zamboanga City branch, where his pension is now being regularly credited.

PVAO has written a separate letter to Lopez and his sister explaining the process and imploring their understanding for the unintentional and unfortunate occurrence.

The public may rest assured that that PVAO is working very hard to achieve a healthy balance between applying strict control measures in ascertaining the identity and legitimacy of our pension recipients and instituting efficiency in our systems and procedures for the timely enjoyment of benefits due our beloved veterans and their dependents.

—MARIA JUANITA S.

FAJARDO-RIVERA,

chief, Public Affairs Section,

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Office of the Administrator,

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office

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TAGS: col. Alfonso lopez, dactyloscopy, letters, pension, PVAO
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