The House of Representatives has backed a measure granting survivorship benefits to the dependent children of deceased or retired members of the Commission on Audit, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections and the Ombudsman, who is a solo parent, or the surviving parents or nominated persons of such deceased retiree.
House Bill 7820, principally authored by Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte, aims to advance the policy of the State to strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution, taking into account the variety of family composition that has been undergoing fundamental changes in the society.
To fulfill this objective, the bill proposes to amend Republic Act 10084 entitled “An Act Granting Survivorship Benefits to the Surviving Legitimate Spouse Of A Deceased Retired Member of the Commission On Audit, Civil Service Commission On Elections and The Ombudsman, and For Other Purposes.”
The bill seeks to include a new Section 1-A to RA 10084 which shall read as follows: “In case the deceased retired chairman of the Commission on Audit, Civil Service Commission, Commission on Elections) and the Ombudsman was unmarried, the survivorship benefits shall be paid as follows: a) When the deceased retiree was a solo parent, as defined under RA 8924, otherwise known as the “Solo Parents Welfare Act of 2002,” and survived by dependent children or other children under the care of the deceased retiree as stipulated under RA 9262, otherwise known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004,” including children who have reached the age of majority but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, or discrimination because of a physical or mental disability or condition as defined under RA 7610, otherwise known as the “Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act,” the dependent children shall be entitled to receive on a monthly basis all the retirement benefits that the deceased retiree was receiving at the time of death under the provisions of applicable retirement laws then in force.
The minor dependent children shall be disqualified from receiving the benefits upon reaching the age of majority. Any subsequent death or disqualification of any of the dependent children shall not result in the accrual of the forfeited benefits to the other beneficiaries.
b. When the retiree dies without issue, the surviving parents, if any, or unless disqualified by law, any person or persons nominated by the Chairman, Commission or the Ombudsman, shall prior to or on the date of retirement receive on a monthly basis all the retirement benefits that the deceased retiree was receiving at the time of death under the provisions of applicable retirement laws then in force, provided that the nominees shall be limited to two persons only. It is provided, further, that beneficiaries who are receiving benefits under existing retirement laws shall only be entitled to the difference between the amount to be received pursuant to this Act and the retirement benefits being received.
Any subsequent death or disqualification of any of the foregoing beneficiaries shall not result in the accrual of the forfeited benefits to the other beneficiaries.”
The bill also proposes to add a new Section 1-B to RA 10084 to read as follows: “The benefits under this Act shall be granted to a Chairman or Commissioner of the Commission on Audit, Civil Service Commission, the Commission on Elections, and the Ombudsman who have retired prior to the effectivity of this Act, provided that the benefits to be granted shall be prospective.”
Lastly, the bill provides that the fund for the initial implementation of the Act shall be taken out of the current appropriations for the retirement benefits of the Chairman and Commissioners of the constitutional commissions as well as the Ombudsman, or savings of said constitutional commissions and the Office of the Ombudsman. Thereafter the amounts needed for the continued implementation hereof shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.