Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gov't needs to clean up GSIS mess

With growing complaints from pension fund members, mostly comprising of government retirees and active employees who continue to be milked of their hard-earned contributions in the hope that they could make use of their efforts in the future, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) continues to render disservice to its millions of members.

Perhaps, it's about time that the national government should do something to dip its hands on this pension fund agency by overhauling its present set up so that it can function truly and effectively as the lone caretaker of the billions of monthly contributions collected from national and local government employees.

As of late, GSIS insiders were caught taking advantage of their position by secretly funneling funds that were not supposed for them, but from those who were already dead. And who would imagine that some GSIS employees, who knew the tricks of the trade on how to deprive thousands of their benefits without even applying for them, have only to fume in anger after knowing that their loans were already taken by somebody else. They were only made aware when some of them receive a notice for loan deductions. While others just retire without getting their accumulated leave earnings from the number of years of public service rendered because the GSIS has to automatically make a lot of deductions based on their lousy and unrealistic computations.

In the first place, how could an ordinary retiring driver or messenger be able to understand complicated mathematical intricacies at the time they begin to apply for full retirement benefits when they have only limited education to wit? This is when GSIS insiders begin to take advantage of their weaknesses. The recent arrest of a certain GSIS analyst by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was only part and parcel of a syndicate that is taking place inside this pension fund agency, who take advantage of those ignorant members whose knowledge on how their retirement benefits were computed are very limited.

Why can't they just be honest on how they do their jobs? Comparatively, GSIS officials and employees are getting much better and higher salaries and fat allowances that their counterparts in the civil service. Yet, they have the temerity to do all this things at the expense of those who could barely grasp in so far as computations of loans and benefits are concerned. Why can't they make it simple in the first place, rather than present a complicated one?

I've been a former GSIS member myself and I'm frustrated to say that I didn't get the reasonable amount of benefits that I should get after I had filed my early retirement because the GSIS lumped all the charges and interests accrued to my previous loans. At the same time, a co-employee of mine from Cavite failed to get what was due to her. After working in the government for more than 30 years, without applying for any loans, she was expected to get hundreds of thousands in retirement benefits, but instead received only a total of P3,000 pesos in check payable to Landbank of the Philippines. She could do nothing but cried all night. She told me she couldn't recall any instance as to why this should have happened to her. Besides, she said it wasn't her habit to apply for loans at any time during her entire 30 years in the service.

Now, did somebody inside conspired to make it appear that she applied loans previously? I suspect this is a modus operandi that are now common practice inside the GSIS, especially for those who still hunger for more at the expense of the innocent others, who are always at the mercy of vultures and hyenas inside this once-trusted pension fund agency of government. What are you waiting for? Millions of government employees can now begin to initiate a move that will overhaul the GSIS and transform it into a well-deserved and trusted depository of billions of pension funds for government employees.

Don't tell me that GSIS is doing all these things as a means to recover the huge losses it gave away to fund the election campaigns of top officials in government during the last elections? Common, tell it to the Marines!!!

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