P15-M saved monthly by purging 'fake' pensioners

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2010 10:52 PM | Updated as of Oct 09 2010 06:53 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Well aware of the existence of "fake" pensioners, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) has become stricter in granting pensions to retirees and war veterans.

PVAO chief executive officer Nostradamus Villanueva said they have been implementing a strict validation process since 2 years ago to make sure each of their 240,000 pensioners and their spouses are living and qualified to receive monthly pension.

For example, Villanueva said they check the veterans' bank accounts to verify if they or their spouses are still alive.

"'Pag walang withdrawal for 3 months, the bank informs us, and we immediately check the status of the claimant," Villanueva told ABS-CBN News.

The PVAO has 13 teams roaming nationwide to verify pensioners' identities.

PVAO Legal Department Chief Atty. Rolando Villaflor said they continue to purge dead veterans from their list.

"Nakakapag-overpay kasi hindi namo-monitor ang pagkamatay ng beterano. Ang ideal diyan, pagkamatay, alam mo kaagad," he said.

Aside from this, Villaflor said they have 20 pending cases against fake veterans or impostors.

Villanueva said the agency is able to save around P15 million a month by purging spurious pensioners from their list.