THE HOUSE of Representatives has approved on its third reading a bill last week establishing a retirement benefit system for the Office of the Ombudsman.
A unanimous vote among 231 lawmakers approved the House Bill (HB) 6578, also known as “Establishing a Retirement System in the Office of the Ombudsman, Augmenting its Employee Benefits,” that was principally sponsored by Rep. Sherwin Tugna of Cibac Party-list and Rep. Ann Hofer of Zamboanga Sibugay.
The bill aims to strengthen the Office of the Ombudsman as an institution in the fight against graft and corruption by enhancing and improving the welfare of its employees.
The bill provides the Ombudsman, Deputies Ombudsman, special prosecutors and other officials and employees with a salary grade of 26 to 29 who are performing functions against corruption will enjoy the same retirement benefits as the judges of the regional trial courts, municipal trial courts in cities and municipal circuit trial courts with the same salary grades.
Pension benefits will be simultaneously increased with the salary and allowances in the same position from which they retired.
Upon the death of a retired or incumbent official or employee of the Office of the Ombudsman, the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children will be entitled to the retirement benefits of the deceased on a monthly basis.
A monthly hazard allowance of not exceeding 50 percent of their basic monthly salary will be given to the employees and officials covered by the act.
The benefits will be given to those who retire within year prior to the effectivity of the Act. The bill, which substituted HBs 5134 and 63835, has been transmitted to the Senate on Wednesday.