The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) disclosed in a released that a total of P2.9 billion was allotted for unpaid pensions for the World War 2 veterans, upon submission of verified beneficiaries by the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).
According to Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, the P2.9 billion funding for veterans’ pensions—officially known as Total Administrative Disability (TAD) Pension—would cover the pension requirements of 16,980 living veterans from years 1994 to 2012, which will be sourced from the Pension and Gratuity Fund (PGF).
“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,” Abad said.
On the other hand, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that the PVAO saved P4 billion in 2010 because of digitizing the delivery of pension benefits by the usage and implementation of automated teller machines (ATM).
The national defense secretary shared that the P4 billion generated funds can cover veterans TAD pensions from 2003 to 2009.
The DBM compared the list of veterans submitted by PVAO from the present veteran-beneficiaries of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to ensure that only veterans who fought during the World War 2, and in Vietnam and Korea will benefit from the budget.
“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 payment,” Abad said. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO