Thursday, 21 July 2011 11:36
Government workers retiring from the service may soon enjoy their retirement benefits and gratuities earlier than usual after President Benigno S. Aquino III signed into law a legislation that would hasten the release of such claims, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. announced on Wednesday.
Ochoa said Republic Act No. 10154, signed into law by President Aquino on July 15, requires all state agencies to release the retirement benefits within 30 days after the actual date of retirement of a government employee. It also provides for penalties for unjustified delays in the release of these benefits.
R.A. 10154 shall take effect 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette or in two newspapers of general circulation, Ochoa said.
Under the newly signed law, Ochoa said the employer-agency, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) are directed to ensure that all the benefits of a retiring government worker are released on time.
“Government officers and employees have spent the best years of their lives in public service and it is only appropriate that they be extended what is due them under our laws without unwarranted delays,” Ochoa said, noting numerous complaints about the delay in the release of state workers’ retirement benefits.
He added: “R.A. 10154 is consistent with the 1987 Constitution for the protection of the rights of workers and the promotion of their welfare, as it is likewise in accord with the GSIS Act of 1997.”
To ensure compliance of the 30-day prescribed period, the law orders retiring employees to submit their requirements to the concerned government agency at least 90 days before the effective date of their retirement.
In the event an employee has a pending case and his retirement benefits are being lawfully withheld due to possible financial liability, the head of the agency handling the case is directed to terminate or resolve the case three months prior to his actual retirement date.
Failure to resolve the case within the prescribed period without justifiable reasons will cause the immediate release of the employee’s retirement benefits without prejudice to the ultimate resolution of the case.
R.A. 10154 covers all branches, agencies and/or instrumentalities of the government, including government-owned and/or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), but excluding personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
The law shall be applicable both to applications for compulsory retirement and optional or early retirement as authorized by law. (PNA)
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