DBM releases P2.9B for unpaid pension of WWII vets
MANILA - The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has released P2.9 billion for the unpaid Total Administrative Disability (TAD) pension of a total of 16,980 living World War II veterans.
"This release supports the government's budgetary assistance to our living war veterans and their families. It is likewise in fulfillment of President Aquino's pledge to ensure that timely pension payments are made to our World War II veterans who fought bravely for the country and sacrificed much in the process," Budget Secretary Butch Abad said in a statement.
He said the release will support the pension requirements of those validated by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) for the years 1994 up to 2012. The amount will be charged against the Pension and Gratuity Fund.
The DBM compared the list of living World War II veterans submitted by PVAO with the list of regular Armed Forces of the Philippines pensioners who are considered veterans by virtue of their age. This process of validation was facilitated to ensure that only veterans who served during World War II and in Vietnam and Korea would be included in the fund release.
"Since making the switch from check to electronic payments for our veterans' pensions, we were able to update the pensioner database and clear it of ghost entries, allowing us as well to improve transparency and accountability in the government's pension payment. Even more notable is the fact that digitization measures like this have enabled us to successfully generate savings, which can be used to support future releases for unpaid pension arrears," Abad added.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the PVAO was able to save P4 billion due to the use of automated teller machines (ATM) in delivering pension benefits.
The amount was then used to pay arrears for TAD of World War II veterans from 2003 to 2009.