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The Organization of NAMRIA Employees (ONE) participated in the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)-Public Sector Union (PSU) consultative meeting. It was held at the Heritage Ballroom of the Heritage Hotel on 13 May 2015 and was attended by various PSUs whose government offices are located in the National Capital Region (NCR). Officers representing ONE in the meeting were Second Vice President Norelius G. Baloran, Public Relations Officer Jeffrey A. Quodala, and Assistant Business Manager Marilou B. Cinco.
The program started with the GSIS Chorale singing the invocation and the Philippine national anthem followed by the welcome remarks of Atty. Nora Malubay-Saludares, GSIS Senior Vice President for NCR Operations Group. Atty. Saludares then introduced GSIS Trustee for Government Employees, Mario “Mayong” J. Aguja.
Trustee Mayong delivered his presentation on the updates on the GSIS policies with the outline focusing on the key reforms made since the appointment of GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara in 2010; highlights of the 2014 operational, claims and benefit, and financial performances; and directions for 2015.
The GSIS key reforms and performance highlights Trustee Mayong enumerated are as follows:
· Restoration of Survivorship Benefit;
· Revocation of the Annual Renewal of Active Status for pensioners;
· Increase of the minimum basic pension to Php 5,000;
· Revival of the payment of proportionate pension;
· Revision of the Claims and Loans Interdependency Policy to Choice of Loans Amortization Schedule for Pensioners, wherein members are given options on how to settle their outstanding loan accounts;
· Stoppage of the suspension of members’ loan privileges working in suspended agencies;
· Re-engagement with Land Bank of the Philippines;
· Partnership with Pag-IBIG and National Museum to avoid overlapping of functions;
· Enhancement of the Emergency Loan with only 6% interest, removal of the service fee, and grant of three months grace period;
· Grant of special emergency assistance package (as high as Php 40,000 emergency loan for active members and Php 20,000 for pensioners, and loan moratorium) for calamity victims;
· Improvement of service access points with the deployment of 959 GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System kiosks (including 22 units located in selected Robinsons malls); opening of the Pasig Extension Office (catering to members and pensioners in the municipality of Pateros; cities of Pasig, Taguig, and Marikina; and province of Rizal); and establishment of 58 service desks located in various parts of the country (particularly outside of urban centers) and a 24/7 call center that can cater to queries and concerns here in our country and abroad;
· Enhancement of transaction processes through system upgrades;
· Introduction of the Enhanced Optional Non-Life Insurance Programs (Fire, Motor Vehicle, and Personal Accident Insurances);
· Reduction in volume of inaccurate statements of accounts (from Php 30B unposted payments in 2010 to Php 2.4B in 2014);
· Improved posting and collection efficiency (from 83.51% posting efficiency rate in 2010 to 95.28% in 2014) on social insurance premiums;
· Reduction in inaccurate accounts and suspended agencies (from 315 in 2010 to 92 as of March 2015);
· Payment of Php 84.16B claims and benefits within the standard turn-around time of 90 days for retirement/separation (96.42% efficiency), 60 days for regular life insurance (93.70% efficiency), and 60 days for survivorship (92.32% efficiency);
· Posted a revenue of Php 231.54B and income of Php 139.9B with a total asset of Php 910.43B (unaudited) as of 2014 thus increasing the fund life until 2048;
· Allocation of 20 slots for children/dependents of indigenous peoples, persons with disability/ies, and solo/single parents in the GSIS Scholarship Program; and,
· Improvement in the Civil Service Commission-Anti-Red Tape Act rating for service delivery (from a failing grade of 73.8% in 2012 to an excellent grade of 91% in 2014).
For 2015, Trustee Mayong reported that GSIS is currently lobbying in congress for the amendment of its charter including the institutionalization of member-friendly policies, e.g. Members’ Bill of Rights; Designation of beneficiary by single members before age of 50; Removal of remarriage and cohabitation as basis for cancellation of survivorship benefit; Increase in funeral benefit to Php 30,000; and “No prescription period for claims.”
An open forum moderated by Ms. Ami Kristine L. Antony of the GSIS NCR Operations Group ensued after Trustee Mayong’s presentation. Union leaders/representatives were given the opportunity to raise their respective issues and concerns wherein ONE Second Vice President Baloran took the stand and asked Trustee Mayong on his opinion on the possibility of lowering the compulsory age of retirement for all government employees. Trustee Mayong answered ONE Second Vice President Baloran's concern by giving out scenarios in relation to investment and benefits. He said that the more years an employee serves as an active member of GSIS, the higher his/her benefits when he/she retires from government. He also stressed that the members' contributions are being invested by the GSIS thereby yielding higher dividends.
To secure the future of all employees of the Philippine government, GSIS provides and administers a pension fund that insures its members against the occurrence of certain contingencies in exchange for their monthly premium contributions. The social security benefits available for all GSIS members are: compulsory life insurance, optional life insurance, retirement benefits, disability benefits for work-related contingencies and death benefits. In addition to the benefits, active members are entitled to the following loan privileges: salary, policy, and emergency.
The corporate powers and functions of GSIS are vested in and exercised by the Board of Trustees composed of the President and General Manager and eight other members appointed by the President: one is either the President of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association or the President of the Philippine Association of School Superintendents; two represent the leading organizations or associations of government employees/retirees, four are from the banking, finance, investment and insurance sectors; and one is recognized member of the legal profession who at the time of appointment is also a member of GSIS. (Source: www.gsis.gov.ph)