The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office on Sunday maintained the pension for veterans who have already died remained unclaimed.
PVAO Administrator and Defense Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina clarified the agency’s pension funds remained intact and that any irregularity in the release of pensions was very remote.
Carolina issued the statement after a 2018 Commission on Audit report showed 5,721 deceased pensioners continued to receive their monthly pensions amounting to P70.25 million.
“As I have said in my first statement, I can guarantee that no deceased pensioner has received a pension,” he said in a television interview.
In instances of inclusion of several dead veterans in the PVAO payroll, he said such could happen because PVAO had not yet been informed of their deaths.
“The report [of the Commission on Audit] has questioned PVAO why its payroll last year still included those who have already died. So we explained them that it’s really like that since it was not that instant to know if some of them have already died,” Carolina said.
Despite this, he assured the public that while pensions were transferred, these were never withdrawn or claimed.
He said PVAO and the Philippine Statistics Authority are closely coordinating with one another to help update the list of pensioners.
Carolina said the Philippine Postal Corp. would also visit pensioners and even take pictures of them as a proof of life.