Napocor retirees want to know: Where are the GSIS’ ‘responsive’ reforms?
Last May, the Government Service Insurance System marked its 77th anniversary. GSIS president and general manager Robert G. Vergara cited several reforms providing the most responsive services to its members and pensioners. He was quoted as saying that “to regain the trust and confidence of GSIS members and pensioners, the GSIS will always be there for them.”
But my three fellow retirees from the National Power Corp. (Napocor) and I do not feel these reforms or the GSIS being always there for us as we follow up our claims to our retirement benefits.
On July 19, 2012, we filed a petition in GSIS Pasay for the conversion of our retirement mode from under Republic Act No. 1616 to under RA 8291. It was approved after one year and four months.
Due to erroneous computations in our pensions and the imposition of a very high 6-percent interest per annum on the premiums we returned to them (which almost consumed our retirement benefits), we filed motions for reconsideration on Dec. 11, 2013 and on March 12, 2014, respectively, for a recomputation of our pension and the refund of the 6-percent interest they charged us. The motions have been awaiting GSIS action for almost nine months now.
GSIS has no basis for imposing on us the 6-percent interest since these premiums are our own money—coming from us and from our employer.
We sent four follow-up letters to Vergara; Daniel Lacson, board chair; and Geraldine Marie Berberabe-Martinez, GSIS Family Bank board member. All of these letters have been ignored.
We are old and sick people; we have spent thousands of borrowed pesos to travel from our provinces to GSIS Pasay and back, to follow up our petitions and motions.
Where are these GSIS reforms Vergara boasted about, reforms that are supposedly intended for the welfare of GSIS members and pensioners, the real owners of GSIS?
Interest paid to us by the GSIS under RA 1616: Potenciano Turiano—P22,504.71; Onofre Ramos—P30,433.06; Arsenio Bonifacio—P13,583.77; Alexander Tugade—P15,575.76. Total—P82,096.80
Interest deducted from us by GSIS at 6-percent interest per annum under RA 8291: Potenciano Turiano—P170,284.92; Onofre Ramos—P315,746.92; Arsenio Bonifacio—P108,245.97; Alexander Tugade—P132,455.89. Total—726,741.90.
—ALEXANDER TUGADE, Purok 5, Barangay Lourdes, Tiwi, Albay
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