The Senate has passed on third and final reading a bill granting survivorship benefits to deceased retired members of the National Prosecution Service (NPS), a development lauded by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go Thursday.
Go said Senate Bill 2373, if signed into law, will recognize the contribution of state prosecutors in the dispensation of justice in the country at great risk to their lives and limbs.
The measure “honors the bravery of our prosecutors who confront real threats and risks to their lives and the lives of their families,” Go, who co-authored the measure, said.
Under the bill, in the event of the death of a retired NPS member or otherwise a member eligible to retire, the surviving legitimate spouse and dependent children of the deceased prosecutor will receive all the retirement benefits.
Dependent refers to both legitimate and illegitimate children or adopted children who are chiefly dependent on the deceased member of the NPS.
They must not be over 21 years of age, are unmarried and not gainfully employed or are incapable of self-support because of mental or physical health concerns.
For the surviving spouse, the retirement benefits will be provided until he or she remarries. Members of the NPS who died one year prior to the law’s effectivity are, likewise, covered by the measure.
In his co-sponsorship speech, Go recognized the critical role of prosecutors in the country’s criminal justice system, adding that President Rodrigo Duterte was once a prosecutor before he became vice mayor and later mayor of Davao City.
“President Duterte and I have been steadfast in our commitment to fight corruption and criminality in our country,” said Go.
“Prosecutors play a crucial role in this fight; without them, justice cannot be achieved and the rule of law cannot be upheld,” he added.
Currently, Ombudsman officials and personnel, judiciary members, and other officials of the government are currently eligible for survivorship benefits.
Prosecutors’ retirement benefits are essentially the same as the judiciary’s retirement benefits, with the exception of survivorship benefits.