The Philippines will release funds pension payments of more than 16,000 armed forces personnel after President Benigno Aquino III approved the outlay.
Worth P3.03 billion, the fund release will cover pension payments of 16,295 personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
To date, the Department of Budget and Management said that it has already released P26.74 billion to meet the pension requirements of 104,816 military beneficiaries from January to November as well as the partial requirement for December amounting to P46.51 million.
The fresh fund release is chargeable against the Pension and Gratuity Fund under the 2013 budget, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said.
"Now that we are nearing the end of 2013, the Aquino administration is even more determined to fulfill its commitment to ensure ample support to all government retirees, including those who served in the country's Armed Forces," Abad said.
"Because the DBM has introduced a streamlined process of records confirmation, it's become easier for us to facilitate the prompt release of funds for our military pensioners and to accomplish that in the most efficient, accountable manner possible," he added.
A total of 121,111 claims—comprising 97 percent of the pension list—have already been verified and confirmed.
The roster of pensioners has already been verified and confirmed against Government Service Bank records and the budget department’s own database of retirees.
Besides establishing efficiency in identifying beneficiaries, the system also weeded out ghost pensioners and invalid entries, ensuring that all retirees are accounted for to receive their respective benefits.
Meanwhile, 2,069 roster entries have yet to be verified with bank records and other supporting documents.
A total of 1,539 names—which have been determined as invalid entries or ghost pensioners—have also been stricken from the roster to date.