In recognition of their efforts to fight graft, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson has filed a bill “extending” to surviving spouses the retirement benefits of employees in the Ombudsman and three anti-graft constitutional bodies.
Senate Bill 2099 will let spouses of deceased retirees in the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, Commission on Elections and Civil Service Commission receive benefits equivalent to the monthly lifetime pensions of their dearly departed.
“Liberal retirement benefits would assure them a life of relative security after rendering almost a lifetime of public service, when they have lost their vigor or are already old or incapacitated by illness or other disability,” he said in his bill.
He noted survivorship pension was originally part of the retirement system for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, but applied to civilian personnel since 1977, through Presidential Decree No. 1146.
Lacson noted old-age retirement pensions to qualified civil servants will “entice capable men/women of proven probity, integrity and independence to enter and remain in the government service, especially in highly sensitive offices, discharging their duties faithfully and efficiently.”
Under the proposed measure, the surviving legitimate spouse of a deceased retired chairman or commissioner will be entitled to receive on a monthly basis all the retirement benefits the retiree was receiving at the time of his/her demise.
The spouse shall continue to receive such retirement benefits during his/her lifetime or until he/she remarries.
Funds for the initial implementation of the measure will be taken out of the appropriations for the retirement benefits of the chairman and commissioners of the constitutional commissions concerned.
In the following year, the needed funds will be included in the annual national budget.