PVAO denies COA report it is paying dead pensioners
The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) denied Commission on Audit report of payments to dead pensioners.
"I'd like to issue a clarification regarding the recent report which came out from an audit observation report uploaded by Commission on Audit in the COA website that payments were made to dead pensioners," PVAO Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo Friday.
"I categorically deny the report. No payments were made to deceased or dead pensioners," he said.
"In fairness to the COA, I read the report. The wordings of the report is that.. it's an observation made in 2018 about pension payments made in calendar year 2018," he added.
Carolina admitted that in the middle of its report, the COA mentioned about "pensioners who were already five years dead and still appeared on the list".
He emphasized that unlike before pensions of veterance are distributed by different banks.
"So let me clarify that...100 percent of pension are paid in the banks unlike before when pensions are distributed in continuous form of cheques when they are dead pensioners you cannot recover the money anymore," he said.
"Now 100 percent of pensions are serviced by nine banks, accredited banks largely government banks, and three financial institutions, AFPSLAI ( Armed Forces and Police Savings and Loan Association), etc. So monthly, we prepare a payroll and that is the basis of remitting the pension to this pension servicing institution," Carolina said.
"Monthly, we prepare the payroll. As we prepare the payroll, somebody on that list might have died, say last week or last night. We release the fund during the first week, but it will be available in the third week," he noted.
"In between that period, somebody else could have died also. The names on the payroll list are the ones cited in the COA report,” Carolina added.
He said "throughout the year, those list are generated later and that is the list cited by the COA report."
Carolina assures that names of dead pensioners who are still on the payroll list of PVAO are no longer receiving their pension.
"These were the names on the payroll in the year 2018, and they found a list which came from our report also of 5,700 plus reported dead and according to them many of these names on that dead list are still on the payroll," he said.
"The truth is although they are on the payroll at the time the payroll was prepared, those people were not paid because they were already in various stages of monitoring. and especially now, we like to report to you that we have a fullproof validation system. You can verify this later through," he added.
Carolina said their validation system includes contracts with the Philippine Statistics Authority and Philpost.
"We pay PSA P40,000 a month. What the PSA do is that you cannot bury a dead person if you don't get the death certificate. They automatically copy furnish us. PSA gives us a monthly death list and we pay them because they cross list it to the monthly pension. So if anyone died automatically we will be informed. That is a very big help but we do not rely on that fully," he said.
In PVAO's contract with Philpost, Carolina said; ''We are paying before 90 pesos, 125 pesos per head. The postmen visit them. We have postmen all over the country," he added. Robina Asido/DMS