House approves bill to release retirement benefits early

MANILA—The House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a bill requiring all state offices to release the retirement benefits of employees within 15 days after they leave government service.

House Bill 3862 seeks to address the perennial complaints of government retirees about the snail-paced processing of their benefits.

“The bill addresses the delay in the release of benefits to retiring government employees. Complaints of the retirees remain as common occurrences,” said one of the bill’s author, Representative Salvador H. Escudero III (1st District, Sorsogon).

The bill, is authored by Representatives Jane Tan-Castro (2nd District, Capiz), and Roilo Golez (2nd District, Parañaque City), seeks to suspend for six months without pay the chief of any government office who fails to release on time the retirement benefits.

“The penalty shall not apply if the release of the retirement benefits could not be accomplished due to force majeure and other insuperable causes,” Golez said.

The measure requires a retiree to submit all requirements to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) 60 days before the retirement takes effect.

Under the bill, any administrative case filed against a government employee shall be terminated at least three months before the date of retirement.

The bill also provides that any administrative case filed against a compulsory retiree within three months before the date of retirement shall be considered a harassment suit unless found meritorious by the head of office or agency concerned.

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