QUEZON CITY – Some P1.95 Billion was approved for release by the department of Budget and Management to the Department of National Defense – Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (DND – PVAO) to fund 226,365 pension requirements from October to December this year.

DBM Secretary Florencio B. Abad said in a statement that President Aquino recognizes the needs of our veterans, who played a large role in defending national security in the course of our history, hence the pension release.

The fund release will cover the veteran’s pension requirements until the end of the year.

According to Secretary Abad it is also an expression of the President’s commitment to assist those who have served the country well in times of conflict.

The newly released fund supplements the P2.14-billion earlier released to PVAO to support veteran pension requirements from September to October and effectively cover the pension deficiencies for this year.

The fund which covers old age pension, survivorship pension, regular disability pension, and total administrative disability pension will be charged against the Retirement Benefits Fund under the 2012 General Appropriations Act.

The DBM is currently working with PVAO and Landbank to update and clear their respective pensioner database from deceased veterans and ghost entries.

Abad said that this year, the programmed budget for pension was lowered and was coupled with an unprogrammed fund to make it comparable to last year’s budget.

The split, he said will encourage the defense department to rid their masterlist of pensioners and beneficiaries of ghost pensioners.

“To aid this process, we’ve piloted the release of pensions through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs),” Abad added.

The ATM scheme, according to Abad will improve transparency and accountability in pension releases.

“As much as we aim to assist our veterans, we want to accomplish this in a responsible manner so that every peso is well-accounted for,” Abad said

1.95 Billion pesos was approved for release by the Department of Budget and Management to fund the pension requirements of veterans. (Photo courtesy of sotf-p.blogspot.com)