The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) was accused on Monday, Feb. 15, of not remitting the Pag-IBIG (Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno) fund contributions of several of its personnel.
The non-remittance of Pag-IBIG contributions for at least 10 months was only found out when some of BFP personnel who just retired from the service went to the agency’s office to collect their cash benefits.
In an interview, retired Fire Office 2 Reynaldo Romero told the Manila Bulletin that Pag-IBIG personnel required him to submit a certification of contribution covering December 2019 to September 2020 before he can collect more or less P100,000 of his cash benefit rom his 32 years of service in the BFP.
Romero, who is speaking on behalf of the some of the BFP retirees, said that he was surprised of the documentary requirement, saying that Pag-IBIG contributions are automatically deducted from the monthly salaries of every BFP personnel.
The non-remittance of Pag-IBIG contributions for 10 months, according to Romero who retired in October last year, was confirmed when he went to the BFP Finance department to get the document being asked of him to produce for his benefits.
The finance personnel could not give any answer when Romero questioned why his contributions were not transmitted to PAG-IBIG despite being regularly deducted from the basic pay from his “more than three decades length of service in the bureau.’’
Romero noted that only a clerk and “not a high-ranking official’’ from the BFP finance department met him in a receiving area and assured him that the bureau will pay PAG-IBIG in January 2021.
“Mahigpit sa BFP. Hindi kami pinapayagan umakyat sa opisina ng national headquarters. Pag may kailangan ka sa finance sila na lang ang baba (Regulations at the BFP are strict. We are not allowed to go to the offices of the national headquarters. If you need to inquire from the finance department, a personnel will just meet you),’’ Romero said.
Romero said that up to the present, the BFP still failed to settle its obligations with Pag-IBIG with his fellow 2020 retirees who are still waiting for their benefits.
When informed of the retirees’ predicament, BFP Director Chief Superintendent Jose Embang Jr., in a telephone interview, immediately called for an extensive investigation on the plight of the retired fire officers.
He admitted being unaware of the group’s situation but stressed that he has signed numerous remittances for the benefit of the bureau’s retired personnel since assuming his post on January 7, 2020.
Romero, for his part, said that if he had his way, President Duterte should intercede to curb corruption in the bureau.