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Latest News Philippines: PNP ‘ghosts’ – Journal.com.ph:
MORE guaranteed safety measures are being implemented by the Philippine National Police to prevent active and retired police officers from being victimized by scammers, loan sharks and other syndicates, officials said yesterday.
PNP chief Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome said he has ordered the Police Retirement Benefits Service (PRBS) headed by Senior Superintendent Virgil F. Bombita to implement the measure which are all part of the PNP program to put premium on the welfare of its personnel by taking care of their salaries, pension and other benefits.
PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Generoso R. Cerbo Jr. said that they are also fully supporting Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s call for the PNP to switch to electronic banking by releasing retirement benefit payments via the Automated Teller Machines in order to weed out “ghost pensioners” from the current PNP database.
“The PRBS has already started to implement the ATM pension system through a memorandum of agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines which results in a systematic release of our pensioners’ benefits,” Cerbo said.
He added that the PRBS also inked an agreement with the National Statistics Office in order to update the status of PNP pensioners and their beneficiaries specifically cops’ spouses.
“We are also continuing the purging of the master list of pensioners and going after the so-called ghost or fake ones,” Cerbo said. He referred to at least 30 fake police pensioners who were recently arrested by the police during a series of stings in Camp Crame which resulted in the filing of criminal and administrative charges against some active police personnel.
As of yesterday, Cerbo said there are a total of 51,149 retired members of the PNP and the defunct Philippine Constabulary-Integrated National Police who are receiving their regular pension from the government. He said that the pension of 9,472 retired cops have already been adjusted to the latest pension grade.
Cerbo added that the PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management headed by Director Elpidio Z. de Asis Jr. has already deleted the names of around 5,000 personnel who are no longer qualified or disqualified to receive pension for various reasons like death or the discovery that the surviving spouses have already remarried.
The PNP spokesman emphasized that through the ATM system, a pensioner can immediately get his or her money via the ATM machine and without having to line up in Camp Crame or other police regional offices to have their papers processed every month.
“This system is very convenient, systematic and practical for every claimant,” he said.
The PNP through the PRBS signed a MOA with the Land Bank of the Philippines last March 7 to ensure the timely, equitable and efficient distribution of pension benefits through an ATM card.
It also launched the PRBS SMS Auto feedback system to answer queries through text messages. Through the system, a PNP pensioner or retiree may send his/her questions through formatted test messages using either a Smart or Globe-enrolled cellular phone. The system gives automated answers to questions regarding claim status and updates.
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