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Benefits In General, Retirement Benefits, Other Privileges

Submitted by Ira Agting

BENEFITS IN GENERAL
Benefits granted by law to government officials: vacation leaves, sick leaves, maternity leaves,
terminal leaves, termination pay, retirement benefits, others as provided by law

Vacation and Sick Leaves


 All employees required to go on a minimum of a 5 day vacation leave per year
 Elective and appointive local officials enjoy the same leave privileges
 Commutative: Any part not taken within the calendar year may be carried over to
succeeding years
o Employees retiring under CA 186: Commutation based on highest rate received
o Members of Judiciary and Constitutional Commissions: Commutation based on
highest monthly salary plus highest monthly aggregate of transportation, living,
representation allowances
 Memorandum Circular 54: Voluntary resignation or separation without the employee’s
fault will still entitle employee to commutation without limitation
o EXCEPT employees covered by special laws
o EXCEPTION TO THE EXCEPTION: MC 54 will still apply if the special law
provides lesser privileges

Terminal Leave Pay


 Cash value of the retiree’s accumulated leave credits
 Employee has already severed their connection with their employer
 Not compensation, but accumulation of credits intended for old age separation
 Different from commutation of salary (applied for during employment for ordinary leave)
 Basis: Highest monthly salary while in government service, no matter how short, even if
in acting capacity

Merit and Monetary Awards System


 Sec. 6, RA 6713: Establishment of a system of annual incentives and rewards
 To motivate and inspire public servants to uphold the highest standards of ethics
 May take form of bonuses, citations, directorships in GOCCs, scholarship grants, paid
vacations, automatic promotions, Dangal ng Bayan Award (employees who have
demonstrated exemplary conduct based on the 8 norms of behavior under RA 6713)

Allowances in Case of Injury, Death, Sickness:


Sec 699, Revised Admin Code in addition to GSIS Employee’s Compensation

Sec 699, Revised Admin Code GSIS Employee’s Compensation Program


Injury in the performance of duty (physical hurt Injury from an employment accident
or wound)  Sustained injury during working hour
 Absence not more than 6 months is with  Injured at the place where his work
full pay (charged first against vacation requires him to be
leaves, if any)  Employee performing official functions
 Payment of medical expenses,
transportation, subsistence Place and time immaterial if shown that
employee acting within purview of
employment
Death from injury or sickness in the line of Disability or death from sickness
duty  Sickness must be the result of an
 Payment of reasonable burial expenses occupational disease
 6 months’ salary no less than P1000 to  Risk of contracting the disease is increased
surviving spouse or dependent children by working conditions
Illness must be
Sickness caused by or connected directly with  Definitely accepted as an occupational
the performance of an act in the line of duty disease
 Payment of necessary hospital fees  Caused by employment, subject to proof
that illness is increased by working
conditions
Granted by recommendation of the Municipal No compensation if injury, sickness, disability,
Board/Council (for cities), Provincial Board or death occasioned by intoxication or wilful
(for provincial gov’t), or Municipal intention to injure or kill themselves, or
Council/Municipal District Mayor (for notorious negligence
municipal district government)

RETIREMENT BENEFITS
Nature of retirement benefits
 Reward for giving the best years of their lives to service of the country
 Not gratuity, but deferred compensation for services
 Double purpose:
o To entice competent men and women to enter government service
o To permit them to retire from service with relative security
 Pension and retirement benefits are exempt from attachment, garnishment, levy, execution
and cannot be withheld to be applied to indebtedness to the government
 Benefits including money value of leave credits are exempt from income withholding tax
 Pensions and gratuities shall not be considered additional, double, or indirect
compensation. A pensioner who re-enters government service and retires after meeting all
requirements, is entitled to receive double retirement benefits

OPTIONAL RETIREMENT UNDER GSIS


 Retiree’s choice of scheme of retirement binds the employer because retirement is for the
benefit of the employee
 Once filed by the officer, cannot be unilaterally withdrawn without approval of the head
of office
 Employer is authorized to request the optional retirement of an employee who is unable to
perform satisfactorily and efficiently due to disqualification
 Employer does not have the right to veto an application of person qualified for optional
retirement. Phrases “may be allowed to retire” or “retirement is likewise allowed” do not
connote implied authority to deny retirement.
 Refusal to approve or pay benefits of a qualified retirement officer is compellable by
mandamus because it is a vested right
 Requirement of physical incapacity for those below 65 years of age is invalid
30 years of service, 57 years old
 At least 3 years of continuous service before retirement
- Not interrupted by LOA without pay if total LOA or separation during last 3 years
not more than 1 year
- Still entitled to retirement if separated from service before completion of 3 years
due to abolition of position or reduction of force
 At least 5 years of contributions
 For service less than 30 years: ½ increase in age over 57 years for each year decrease
 For age less than 57: 1 year increase in service over 30 years
- Ages may be decreased by more than 5 years if the work is mostly manual
 No one is entitled to retirement benefits if below 52 years old or less than 15 years of
total service

30 years of service, regardless of age


 Monthly annuity for life
 If service rendered after June 16, 1951, benefit is whatever amount of annuity can be
purchased by accumulated government and personal contributions to credit
 In addition to benefit for service prior to June 16, 1951

20 years of service, regardless of age (RA 1616)


 Last 3 years of continuous service before retirement
 Gratuity equivalent of 1 month’s salary for every year of service for first 20 years
 Plus 1 ½ month’s salary for every year over 20 years but below 30
 Plus 2 month’s salary for every year over 30
 Basis: highest rate received or as provided by law for elective officials
 Commutation of unused vacation or sick leaves allowed
 If application is denied, employee is entitled to reinstatement with backwages. Head of
office may not refuse reinstatement on ground of misconduct
RA 6683
 Early retirement, voluntary separation, and involuntary separation due to reorganization
 Coverage:
o All appointive officials and employees of the national gov’t, including GOCCs
with original charters
o Personnel of all LGUs
o All regular, temporary, casual, coterminous, emergency employees regardless of
age, who have rendered at least 2 consecutive years of government service
o EXCLUDED: Uniformed personnel of AFP, including PC-INP

AUTOMATIC AND COMPULSORY RETIREMENT


65 years old, 15 years of service
 Under CA 186
 Lump sum payment of present value of annuity for first 5 years and future annuity to be
paid monthly
 Must not have been separated from service during last 3 years
 If service less than 15 years, shall be allowed to continue to complete 15 years
o UNLESS eligible for disability requirement
o Cena v CSC (overturned): Circular No. 27 limiting the extension of service to 1
year is invalid because it created conditions not provided in law
o Rabor v CSC: Extension of service cannot be more than 1 year (66 years old at
most), even if employee has not completed 15 years
o Toledo v CSC: Cena ruling will create very strange rules. A 64-year-old may be
appointed and extension for 14 years, allowing him to retire at the age of 79.
 Founded under public policy, to maintain efficiency in government service and give
public servants opportunity to enjoy during the remainder of their lives
 NOT APPLICABLE to elective officials and constitutional officers whose tenure is
guaranteed

Compulsory GSIS coverage for old age pension benefit under PD 1146
 60 years old, 15 years of service
 Basic monthly pension for life, but for not less than 5 years
 If less than 15 years of service but at least 3 years of service, entitled to cash payment of
100% the average monthly compensation for every year of service
 Computation of service includes full time, part time, and other services with
compensation

COMPUTATION OF BENEFITS: Based on highest rate received: highest monthly salary


 Grant of retirement benefits necessitates obligation of employee to contribute to insurance
fund, and such obligation only arises when employee is receiving salary
 Salary excludes bonuses, per diems, allowances, overtime pay, compensation in addition
to the base pay
 Includes additional compensation given in the nature of salary when received as a matter
of right or authorized by law, including in an acting capacity. Also Includes authorized
salary adjustments
 GSIS, not CSC has power to determine which service is creditable

RETIREMENT OF MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY


A member shall qualify for retirement in any of the following cases:
 20 years of service in judiciary or any branch of government and either:
o 70 years of age or
o Resigned by reason of incapacity
 20 years of service, 60 years old
o Last five years of service must be continuous in the judiciary

Benefits
 5-year lump sum gratuity based on highest monthly salary plus highest monthly aggregate
of transportation, living, and representation allowance
 After 5 years, monthly annuity for life
 If retirement caused by permanent disability during incumbency, he shall receive a 10-
year gratuity and monthly annuity for life after 10-year period
 RA 910: Automatic increase in pension when incumbent justices receive salary increases,
plus an upward adjustment of the 5-year lump sum if the increase is during the 5-year
period
 Monthly pension is equivalent to current salary allowance of an incumbent justice

Restrictions
 While receiving pension, cannot appear as counsel in:
o Civil case against the Government or any subdivision or instrumentality
o Criminal case against an officer or employee of the government for an offense
committed in relation to his office
 Cannot collect any fee for appearance in any administrative proceeding to maintain an
interest against the government, national, provincial, or municipal, or legally constituted
officers
 If elected, cannot receive monthly pension upon assumption of office and during term

RETIREMENT BENEFITS OF CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS


Chairman or members of Constitutional Commissions (COA, COMELEC, CSC) are entitled to
retirement and pension benefits:
 Upon completion of term or
 By reason of inability to discharge office or
 If he dies while in service or
 If he resigns after reaching 60 years of age but before expiration of term and having
rendered not less than 20 years of service in the government

A courtesy resignation is not resignation in the legal sense


 No intention to surrender, but a submission to the will of political authority and
appointing power, acceptance of which renders the term completed

Benefits
 5-year lump sum based on last annual salary plus representation and living allowances
 After 5 years, monthly pension for life
 Automatic increase in monthly pensions equivalent to salary increases of incumbent, plus
adjustment of 5-year lump sum if increase is during the 5-year period

Retirement laws should be construed liberally in favor of the retiree


 Ortiz v COMELEC: Acceptance of the commissioner’s courtesy resignation resulted in
the completion of his term so as to entitle him to all benefits. Courtesy resignation is not
resignation under the law because it lacks the intention to surrender the position and is a
mere submission to the will of the political authority and appointing power
 In Re Gratuity Benefits of Associate Justice Plana: Despite lacking a few months to meet
the age requirement, Justice Plana is entitled to full retirement benefits because his
accrued leave credits have entitled him to go on leave beyond the age requirement
 In Re Martin: An application for disability retirement in order to receive a 10-year lump
sum should not result in forfeiture of the right to a lifetime pension. The law is not
intended to deprive the person of his lifetime pension if alive after 10 years.
OTHER PRIVILEGES
Legal services from the Solicitor general and government lawyers
 For suits including a claim for damages arising from the performance of duties
 Not for a civil suit for damages arising from a felony allegedly committed by the official.
 LGU officials are entitled to representation if sued in their official capacity and no
damages are sought. Not entitled if personally liable

Legislative privileges
 Immunity from Arrest
o Senator or member of HoR privileged from arrest if 2 conditions are present:
1. Crime charged is punishable by not more than 6 years imprisonment
- If charged with a crime with a penalty more than 6 years, he can be
arrested, but may post bail if bailable to attend congressional duties
- Immunity from arrest does not extend to immunity from being
preventively suspended for his crime
2. Congress is in session
- If congress is in recess, can be arrested for a crime with a penalty of 6
years imprisonment
o Members of the Senate or HoR shall not be held liable for any speech or debate in
Congress or in any committee
o Election while a criminal case is on appeal does not amount to a condonation of
the offense, nor entitlement to freedom from confinement because people elected
him with awareness of the limitations on his freedom

 Immunity from civil and criminal action for speech or debate (speech and debate clause)
o Utterances made by Congressmen in performance of official functions, including
speeches, opinions, votes, and reports, while in session
o Bills introduced in Congress, whether in session or not
o Acts performed by Congressmen either in Congress or outside, in official
discharge of duties
o The privilege is absolute, no conditions or qualifications
o Osmena v Pendatum: Congressman cannot be held liable for defamatory speech
outside Congress, except by congress itself
o Vera v Avelino: Pendatum resolution, which attributed election offenses to certain
Congressmen, is protected and authors cannot be questioned thereon

Privileges of impeachable officers


 Cannot be suspended nor removed except by impeachment and quo warranto (RP v
Sereno)
 If they are lawyers, they may not be disbarred, except after their terms have expired