Another tale of incompetence at Pag-Ibig
I very well share the sentiments of Marlene David (“A Pag-Ibig claimant’s woes,” Opinion, 6/29/15). I, too, went through similar experience with my mother’s death claim.
The first time I went to the Pag-Ibig office in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, to claim the death benefit due us, a female staff told me after tinkering with her computer that, “your mother only has P4,500 due her as death benefit because she had unpaid loans,” in a manner that sounded like “with that so small an amount, you’re still going to get it?” I told her no matter how small it was I’d still get it as it was my mother’s money.
So she gave me a list of requirements I had to comply with in behalf of my father, elder brother and sister. The list included my mother’s death certificate, marriage certificate of my parents, birth certificates of my father and all the three children and the marriage certificate of a female child, which I had to get from the National Statistics Office (NSO).
When I went back to the office with the certificates, the same staff noticed from the records that my mother had two miscarriages. I was then directed to get a notarized affidavit of two disinterested persons. When I asked why (after all my unborn siblings weren’t going to claim a part of the P4,500), she told me it was a requirement and unless I comply with it, I wouldn’t get the death benefit. So I went to a lawyer and spent more for the affidavit.
When I went back to the Pag-Ibig office, the staff told me to go to the Department of Education office where my mother had worked as a school nurse to ask for a certificate attesting that that office could no longer give me my mother’s last pay slip because she had long retired and that the office had transferred to another location. The next time I went to that office, the staff directed me to see a lawyer again to certify that Lourdes B. Pinlac (the name that appeared on the DepEd document) was the same person as Lourdes Baquial Pinlac (the name appearing on another document).
The staff refused to accept fax copies of the identification cards of my brother (who is working in Ireland) and of my younger sister (who is working in California), saying the IDs had to be presented with the original for verification purposes. I told her it would be too expensive to have their IDs mailed to the Philippines. My explanation didn’t matter to her.
The cost of securing the NSO documents and affidavits, plus the transportation expenses and the time spent at the Pag-Ibig office, was getting too much such that I considered abandoning the claim. I couldn’t understand why Pag-Ibig had to make it hard for a grieving family to get the benefit due its members?
Still I took a second chance. I brought all my documents to the Pag-Ibig office in Ayala Cebu where I was warmly attended to. The staff told me that they could accept the faxed IDs of my two siblings and start processing my claim. Praise God! In November 2014, my father got the death benefit.
I am wondering: How about Pag-Ibig claimants who are living far from the city, those with no patience to face uncaring staff or with not enough resources to sustain their wait in a Pag-Ibig office? What will happen to the benefits due them?
—DR. RIA TERESITA PINLAC MASLOG, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, firstname.lastname@example.org
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