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PIA Press Release

Region 10 campaigns to scrap new policy on GSIS survivorship benefit

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (29 September) -- A signature campaign among members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has been launched, in region 10, to request President Aquino and the GSIS Board of Trustees to scrap the latter's new policy on survivorship benefits.

The move which is gaining ground in the various government agencies and local government units aims to show the members' displeasure on the removal of the survivorship benefits of GSIS members' surviving spouses/dependents who are gainfully employed.

It also calls on the Committees on Government Enterprises and Privatization (CGEP) of the House of Representatives and Government Corporations and Public Enterprises (GCPE) of the Senate to review the GSIS charter and examine its efficiency and effectiveness, as far as enhancing its policies and benefits, are concerned.

The signatures will relay the message to the President about this concern from the GSIS members, themselves, while the same thing is done by the other regions, said Mayor Philip T. Tan of Tangub City, Chairperson of the Macro and Development Administration Committee (MacroCom) of the Regional Development Council in the region.

In a position paper discussed during a recent meeting of the Macrocom, RDC-X, the GSIS Modified Guidelines on Survivorship Benefits has created a stir among members, especially those whose spouses are also gainfully employed, which was implemented only on March, this year.

Application of the said guidelines posed double jeopardy for husbands and wives who are both in government service, since funds used to cover survivorship benefits are taken from the contributions of members now pegged at nine (9) percent of their salaries.

It is very ironic that a family with both husband and wife working in government and contributing double cannot in the end avail of survivorship benefits, while a family with only one GSIS contributing member enjoys such benefit.

Now is the best time to re-examine the utility of the GSIS as this social insurance system is becoming more expensive compared to the insurance and pension programs offered by the private sector.

However, should GSIS insist on its power to adjust rates and benefits, it should then adjust the contributions of members whose spouses are gainfully employed, much more, if both are in the government service, the Macrocom said. (PIA 10) [top]

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