Press Release
May 12, 2011

Trillanes seeks timely and expeditious release of retirement benefits

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV on Wednesday asked the Senate to support his proposed legislation seeking the release of retirement benefits within 30 days after the actual date of retirement of government employees.

"Public officers and employees who have spent the best years of their lives serving government and the public should not be made to unreasonably wait and suffer unexplainable delay in their receipt of benefits, which are due them under the law," Trillanes said in his sponsorship speech of Senate Bill No. 2748.

To ensure the timely and expeditious release of retirement pay, pensions, gratuities and other benefits to state employees, Trillanes wanted to impose penalties against officials who would cause undue delay.

"These erring officials, after hearings and due proceedings, shall be subject to administrative disciplinary action and be penalized with suspension from service without pay from six months to one year, at the discretion of the disciplining authority, except in cases of force majeure and other insuperable cases," Trillanes said.

The government is the largest employer in the country, with about 1.31 million employees as of second quarter of 2010, the senator said.

Section 49 of Republic Act 8291, or the Government Service Insurance Systems Act of 1997, provides for the release of retirement benefits to the employee on his last day of service in the government as long as all requirements are submitted to the state pension agency within the reasonable period prior to the effective date of retirement.

In various hearings conducted by the Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization, which Trillanes chairs, and the committee on government corporations and public enterprises, it was revealed that retirement benefits could be made available in 15 days if all the requirements have been submitted by the retiring employee.

However, some agencies do not feel compelled to act in accordance with the law "due to lack of penal provision punishing the agency for its non-compliance," Trillanes said.

He said his committee had "accounted for numerous instances of delayed release of the employees' retirement benefits. This delay has become a serious and pervasive problem in the bureaucracy."

"I humbly submit this proposed measure for the consideration of our colleagues, with that basic aim of recognizing the heroism and sacrifices of our government employees, who I think are the unsung heroes of this nation," Trillanes said.

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