The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and its accredited pension servicing banks — the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP), the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the Asia United Bank (AUB) and the Maybank Philippines, Inc. (MPI) signed the amended Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to renew partnership and enhance safety and efficiency of the Direct Remittance Pension Servicing System (DRPSS) and other services for veterans and pensioners. The MOA signing ceremony was held on April 18, 2022 at the AFPCOC, Camp Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
PVAO’s partnership with the pension servicing banks started in 2009 with the implementation of the DRPSS. The MOA to institutionalize this partnership has undergone four revisions over the past ten years as recalled by PVAO Administrator, Usec. Ernesto G. Carolina. “Everytime we revise the MOA, it is always an improvement not only in terms of efficiency but also improvement in terms of accounting, monitoring and properly recording the transactions,” he said.
With the enhanced collaboration between PVAO and the pension servicing banks, several innovations in digital banking have been applied not only for the increased convenience of the veterans and pensioners but also to ensure the safety and integrity of every transaction of PVAO’s services. This includes the availability of electronic fund transfers, virtual transactions and e-commerce for the pension account holders as well as the data sharing system for easier reporting and monitoring of the status of PVAO pensioners.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has also compelled all government institutions and the banking industry to minimize face-to-face transactions and lessen human intervention in its systems and processes. As such, PVAO aims to further expand the services offered to veterans by capitalizing on the digital platforms made readily available for its clientele. Hence, among the salient features of the MOA is the increase in online transactions including the opening of pension bank accounts, verification of accounts, and online validation.
The MOA and the existing partnership with the pension servicing banks have enabled PVAO to leverage on future technological advancements in IT as it anticipates further improvements in the digital banking platforms. The application of data analytics, virtual reality and artificial intelligence will definitely enhance the efficiency, transparency and accountability in the implementation of the DRPSS.
The MOA also stipulates the availability of a veterans information corner dedicated by the pension servicing banks to provide pensioners with updates on PVAO’s various services, projects, programs and other veterans-related activities and benefits. Such initiative will be helpful to disseminate information especially to those living in remote areas. Important concerns of the Commission on Audit (COA) have also been addressed by the new MOA by enhancing the procedures in pension liquidation, reporting of dormant accounts and return of over-remittances.
During the MOA signing ceremony, Usec. Carolina also expressed his gratitude to the pension servicing banks for honoring the gallantry of our veterans through their services while the representatives from the banks have also renewed their commitment to continuously support the banking needs of the Filipino Veterans Community.
“We are truly honored to be part of this opportunity to recognize the contributions of our veterans who defended our independence and civil liberties,” Senior Vice President Marilou Villafranca of the LBP said, reassuring that the bank will remain committed to the successful partnership with PVAO.
SVP Antonio Owen Maramag of the DBP also mentioned how their services have become their way of giving back service to our veterans as national heroes. “It is but a small measure on our part as bankers today to render our service as a way of giving back in [recognition of] the great sacrifices of our veterans.”
SVP Miguel Angelo Villareal of the Philippine Veterans Bank shared his hopes to continue serving the veterans, this time with their digital innovations. “With the new charter of the Philippine Veterans Bank just signed by President Duterte this year, we can assure that we can service you even better with the launching of our digital platforms.”
Asia United Bank SVP Leonides Intalan also joined the event and assured their openness to work with PVAO in expanding its other services to address the pensioners’ needs. On the other hand, Maybank Philippines Region Head, Ms. Ma. Luisa Layug also expressed her gratitude towards PVAO for the trust and confidence given to them and vowed to continue the partnership.
PVAO is hopeful that with the improvements in the MOA and the more robust partnership with the pension servicing banks, the agency will be able to fulfill its Kagitingan Roadmap 2028 (KR-2028) commitment to exceed the expectations of its veterans clientele.