Senate bill seeks survivorship benefits for prosecutors’ spouse, children
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara has filed a bill seeking to grant survivorship benefits to the legitimate spouse and dependent children of deceased retired government prosecutors.
In filing Senate Bill No. 1865, Angara took note of how retired prosecutors have no survivorship benefits unlike their counterparts in the Office of the Ombudsman or the judiciary despite their similar nature of work.
“Prosecutors are saddled with heavy caseloads and on top of this they face constant risks to life because of the nature of their work,” he said in a statement on Sunday.
“The grant of survivorship benefits to the members of the NPS (National Prosecution Service) is but a small gesture of our appreciation of the work that they are doing in the service of the country,” he added.
Under the bill, the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children of a deceased member of the NPS will be entitled to receive all the retirement benefits that he or she was already receiving.
In case of death of an NPS member who is already eligible to retire, the same survivorship benefits would also be provided to the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children, according to the bill.
The measure defines a dependent as “both legitimate and illegitimate children or adopted children who are chiefly dependent on the deceased member of the NPS, are not over 21 years of age, unmarried and not gainfully employed or if they are incapable of self-support because of mental or physical defect.”
For the surviving spouse, the retirement benefits will be provided until he or she remarries, Angara explained.
If the deceased government prosecutor has no surviving spouse or dependent children, the entitlement of retirement benefits would go to the parents, he added.
According to Angara, the bill seeks to “protect the welfare of the surviving spouse and qualified heirs of the deceased prosecutors to cushion them against the adverse economic effects of unexpected deaths, especially in view of the series of unfortunate and untoward incidents that have exposed government prosecutors to risks and perils to life.”
Further, Angara said it is about time that the “sacrifice NPS prosecutors have made and continue to make, risking personal safety as instruments in the dispensation of justice” be recognized by the state.
“With this bill, we want to send a clear message that the State takes care of its own especially those who have sacrificed so much to serve its people,” Angara added.
The bill will have a retroactive application to include members of the NPS who died one year prior to the effectivity of the proposed law.
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