Manila, June 2 -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered a crackdown on over 1,000 unqualified pensioners who are "fraudulently stealing" from its pension fund.
"We have identified them in the nationwide accounting of the police organization's pensioners and we will immediately purge the list to clean the records once and for all," said PNP chief, Gen. Archie Gamboa, in a statement late Monday.
He added that cases will be filed against individuals and groups perpetrating these fraudulent claims.
Gamboa said the PNP will exhaust all legal means to recover lost pension funds paid to ineligible claimants.
In a report submitted by PNP Retirement Benefits Service acting director, Col. Arthur Bisnar, a total of 1,027 pensioners were discovered to be no longer eligible based on grounds stipulated under the mandate of the Police Retirement Benefits Administration Service (PRBS).
Major Gen. Reynaldo G. Biay, PNP Director for Personnel and Records Management and concurrent overall supervisor of the nationwide accounting, said these pensioners were either "deceased, have remarried, or have reached the age of majority".
Gamboa earlier ordered police regional directors to take the lead role in the nationwide accounting of more than 21,000 pensioners who were not able to update their status in 2019 and also failed to avail of the initial nationwide accounting, which started in February.
He cited the need to ensure that government funds are disbursed efficiently and transparently, particularly in times of crisis.
Due to the restrictions brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the PNP launched pensioner track-care teams from police regional offices (PROs) to seek out the identified pensioners, instead of asking them to present themselves before the PRBS for accounting.
The track-care teams were instructed to adhere to the community quarantine guidelines and protocols since most of these pensioners belong to the vulnerable age groups identified by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Since May 18, a total of 7,388 pensioners were accounted for by PROs' track-care teams; 1,027 of which were found to be no longer eligible for claims.
Among those disqualified were beneficiaries who already died in 2012 or have re-married as far back as 2003 and continued to claim their pension.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of some 1,023 beneficiaries can no longer be established while 11 names were found to have been duplicate entries.
The accounts of these disqualified and unaccounted pensioners with Landbank, through which they receive their benefits, have been tagged, put on hold, and deleted from the pensioner alpha list.
This means that pensions will continue to be credited in these Landbank pension accounts but these funds can not be withdrawn until such time that the account owner has updated their status with PRBS.
He said qualified pensioners who cannot be located by reason that they were stranded or severely affected by the ongoing pandemic should immediately contact the PRBS through its hotline numbers:
Globe - 09777145263
Smart - 09618990928
The pensioner track-care teams are still looking for 10,260 unaccounted beneficiaries before the June 7 deadline given by Gamboa for them to complete the measure.