Blow against GSIS members, pensioners
AS IF the sufferings of its members were not enough, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) dealt another blow to poor public schoolteachers and government workers when it “put its housing loan program on hold as it is faced with total unpaid loans of P11 billion for 17,000 house-and-lot packages nationwide.” (Inquirer, 5/11/2011)
This action of the GSIS defies logic and reason. Why should it punish its members by suspending the grant of housing loans when this problem was caused by mismanagement, ineptitude, abuse and corruption committed in the past, especially during the term of its former president and general manager Winston Garcia, a member of a powerful political clan in Cebu?
In an article titled “GSIS: a gov’t system without service” (Inquirer, 5/11/07), the author cited the numerous unconscionable cases of abuse and misuse of GSIS funds. GSIS owes its existence to the hard-earned contributions of government employees, including public schoolteachers. But it is disquieting to note that the GSIS management was too thick-skinned as it pushed to the limit the patience of its members. As long as its officials and employees continued to get their numerous fat allowances and bonuses, they didn’t give a damn to accountability in public service.
And now, the GSIS has the gall to suspend housing loans for its members who hope and dream of having their own homes with affordable GSIS loans. This is the second time the GSIS has done this. It may be recalled that in the mid-70s, it did the same, to the consternation and disappointment of its members. It stopped giving housing loans following the discovery of a big anomaly within: some GSIS insiders were using as collaterals for their loans the real estate property mortgaged by its members. This move of the GSIS management was followed soon by the closure of the GSIS Hospital, which was strategically located on East Avenue, Quezon City.
The hospital was subsequently was turned over to the Department of Health which renamed the hospital as East Avenue Medical Center. Really, the GSIS management has been arrogantly demonstrating its penchant for inflicting punishment on its members. Then came the series of irregularities which led to rallies and demonstrations staged by disgruntled GSIS members, mostly pensioners.
So, as its officials and employees wallow in luxurious monetary perks and benefits, what will the GSIS (mis)management do next?
—EUSEBIO S. SAN DIEGO, founder/spokesman, Kaguro,
and former president,
Quezon City Public School Teachers Association,
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