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On portability law, GSIS misses the point

03:33 AM July 03, 2017

This is a rejoinder to the response of Nora Malubay-Saludares, officer in charge of the Office of the President and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System (“GSIS explains Portability Law,” Letters, 6/24/17).

The Office of the President and the GSIS missed my point. They did not explain their noncompliance with the pertinent provisions of Republic Act No. 9994, the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which provides, in Section 4, Privileges for the Senior Citizens, particularly the following paragraphs:

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“(h) to the extent practicable and feasible, the continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), the Social Security System (SSS) and the Pag-Ibig, as the case may be, as are enjoyed by those in actual service.”

For the information of all, including the GSIS, the phrase “as are enjoyed by those in actual service” refer to the “cash gift” and the “right to increase in pension.” Those in actual service receive the cash gift and have the right to increase in pay. Therefore retirees including those who retired under Republic Act No. 7699 (The Portability Law) must also be entitled to these benefits under the above provision of RA 9994.

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“(i) retirement benefits of retirees from both the government and the private sector shall be regularly reviewed to ensure their continuing responsiveness and sustainability, and to the extent practicable and feasible, shall be upgraded to be at par with the current scale enjoyed by those in actual service.”

Relative to this provision, retirees cannot even approximate the current scale enjoyed by those in actual service if the new, dynamic and hard working GSIS Board will continue to be bound by GSIS Board Resolutions 177 and 187, adopted by the GSIS Board in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

The above provisions from RA 9994 were enacted by Congress on Jan. 27, 2010, signed into law by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Feb. 15, 2010.

RA 9994 nullified GSIS Board Resolutions No. 177 and 187. Why does the GSIS not follow its provisions? But the biggest question for retirees under RA 7699 is: Why does Congress not exercise its oversight function to see to it that RA 9994 is observed, allowed and implemented? Can any institution be above the law?

MAFEO R. VIBAL, vice president-external affairs, Philippine Association of Retired Persons, [email protected]

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TAGS: GSIS, Inquirer Letter, Inquirer Opinion, Mafeo R. Vibal, Nora Malubay-Saludares, office of the president
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