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‘Ghost pensioners’ haunting PNP

PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Debold M. Sinas yesterday said he wants some 15,000 police pensioners to prove they still exist and are entitled to receive their monthly pension.

The top cop ordered the PNP to carry on with the Pensioner Ko, Sagot Ko program started in 2919 by retired PNP chief Gen. Archie Francisco F. Gamboa to help take care of retired police personnel and their dependents and at the same time ferret out so-called ghost pensioners.

“This has been going on for the past few years, started during the time of Gen. Gamboa and we’re just refining it. So far, mga 15,000 pensioners ang ika-cut ang pension and let them prove they still exist. It’s high time they reciprocate our actions kasi yung ibang anak ng pensioners, over 18 years old na, yung ibang widows, nag-asawa na ng iba pero nagpe-pension pa,” Gen. Sinas said.

Police Retirement and Benefits Administration Service (PRBS) director Brigadier Gen. Sydney S. Hernia said they launched the PKSK Program with the help of the 17 Police Regional Offices.

“We provided the PROs with the list of pensioners in their areas. Kaya pinuntahan nila yung mga pensioners and we discovered na there are 10,815 pensioners na unaccounted/unreported. Me ibat-ibang reasons kesa lumipat na ng bahay, nasa abroad na, yung iba, na-lockdown sa probinsiya, yung iba very unccoperative, wala silang na-submit na record. In order to address that, we have to cut and hold their pension,” the PRBS director said.

Hernia said it is important that the pensioners show up personally or while abroad, show proof that they are still Filipino citizens and have not become citizens of other countries like the United States.

“Hopefully, isa-isa ay magpapakita sa amin or we will recommend their permanent deletion from our list,” he said.

Hernia said that based on the assumption that the 10,815 are already not qualified to receive monthly pension, the PNP would be saving about P560 million a month. Under the law, once a PNP pensioner dies, 75 percent of his pension would be transferred to his legal wife and children. Once the PRBS discovers that the pensioner’s spouse had received pension which she should not be getting, the amount will be deducted from her next pension.

Hernia said that their records show that there are 91,632 PNP pensioners, of which 75,837 are “alive and qualified” to receive monthly pension as determined through the PKSK program.

Another 10,815 were “unaccounted/unreported” while 4,980 were already disqualified due to various reasons.

“We started accounting of all our pensioners. The unaccounted and disqualified pensioners will be placed on a ‘tag and hold’ status’ effective December 16, meaning they can no llonger withdraw their pension from their Land Bank accounts unless they submit their records to the PROs in their areas,” Hernia said.

The official said that the PNP may actually save a total of P562,755,562 per month as a result of placing these accounts on “tag and hold” status. His advice to all unaccounted for and disqualified pensioner is to go to the nearest police station, fill up the PRBS Unified Update Form and affidavit of undertaking with the assistance of their “police buddy.”

“This is part of the PNP financial reforms particularly in the protection of PNP pension funds. Actually, the PKSK project started in 2019 to foster camaraderie and friendship between active and retired policemen by way of matching or pairing our active personnel with the pensioners thru the so-called ‘buddy-buddy’ system,” Hernia said..

Hernia said that the system requires active policemen to regularly monitor the health, wellness, and condition of PNP pensioners and at the same time check and update their records.