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‘Victims’ elevate ‘unjust’ GSIS decision to Aquino

/ 12:01 AM October 13, 2014

This is one more attempt to call the attention of the responsible and concerned officers of the Government Service Insurance System and government to grant us the benefits the GSIS allowed our coretirees but were denied us (please refer to “Napocor retirees want to know: Where are the GSIS’ ‘responsive’ reforms?” Opinion, 7/16/14).

Again, here’s our story: We retired from the National Power Corp. in Tiwi, Albay, on

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March 1, 2003, under the mode of retirement allowed by Republic Act No. 1616. We were denied payment of our gratuity pay by our employer for valid reasons.

On July 19, 2013, we filed with the GSIS a petition for the conversion of our mode of

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retirement from RA 1616 to RA 8291. After a long period of one year and four months, our petition was granted.

GSIS Legazpi City branch processed the payment of our retirement benefits under

RA 8291, using the wrong policy that was not yet in effect on March 1, 2003—the GSIS Premium Based Policy which was only approved under Board Resolution No. 221 on Sept. 17, 2003, and took effect on the same date for adoption into the GSIS system.

The policy the GSIS should have used in computing our retirement benefits, beginning from our first day of service in government until our retirement, was the “total service- based computation policy,” for this was the policy in effect during that period.

The GSIS also deducted a big amount of interest on the premiums we returned to it, which we collected when we retired under RA 1616. The deductions almost consumed the retirement proceeds we got under RA 8291.

We filed a motion for reconsideration with the GSIS to refund to us the interest and to recompute our retirement benefits. We also sent several letters of appeal to GSIS president-general manager Robert G. Vergara and board chair Daniel L. Lacson Jr., and lawyer Geraldine Marie B. Martinez, a member of the board of trustees. But all these fell on deaf ears.

After another long period of eight months, the GSIS refunded to us the interest but technically denied the recomputation of our retirement benefits.

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In an apparent discriminatory act, the same GSIS branch processed the retirement benefits of our coretirees, using the total service-based computation policy.

By closing the door to our appeal and refusing to recompute our retirement benefits, it’s as if the GSIS leadership is tolerating and perpetuating a wrong, unjust and grievous mistake.

May this letter serve as an appeal to President Aquino who, in a State of the Nation Address, vowed to “uplift the welfare of GSIS pensioners and increase their pensions.”

—POTENCIANO TURIANO,

Zone 2, Roadside A,

Paloyon Nabua, Camarines Sur;

ARSENIO BONIFACIO,

Teresa, Sta. Mesa, Manila

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