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PIA Press Release
2006/12/21

RDC-10 urges GSIS to negotiate with Union Bank to open branches in other NorMin areas

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (21 December) -- A resolution urging the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to negotiate with Union Bank to open branches in strategic areas in the Caraga Region has gained the support of the Regional Development Council of Northern Mindanao (RDC-10).

Approved by RDC-Caraga (RDC-13), the resolution also urges Union Bank to absorb the service charges on the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions of GSIS members utilizing other banks.

As presented by Ro-Ann A. Bacal, Asst. Regional Director of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Secretary of RDC-10, during the recent 73rd Full Council RDC-10 Meeting in Tangub City, the RDC-13 resolution approved in September, this year, had the following excerpts:

The GSIS have implemented the Electronic Card (E-Card) which functions, among others, as an ATM account so that its members may use in accessing loans, claims and other GSIS proceeds.

The GSIS awarded the E-Card servicing to Union Bank which, up to now has no branches in the entire Caraga Region.

Each time a GSIS member makes a transaction in the ATM's of other banks affiliated with the same network as the Union Banks, such as Banc Net and Megalink, a corresponding service charge is levied and directly deducted from the account of the member.

This in effect, penalizes the GSIS members for accessing their own accounts as they are forced into using the ATM's of other banks in view of the absence of Union Bank branches in Caraga.

The levying of charges to GSIS members within the Caraga is unwarranted since the same services are available for free in areas where Union Banks are located.

Thus, in order to afford the GSIS members in the Caraga Region with the same privileges and level of accessibility, the payment of service charges for every transaction made in non-Union Bank ATM should be borne by Union Bank or its host bank.

Here in Region 10, Bacal said, Union Bank has branches only in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

Aside from supporting the RDC-13 resolution, RDC-X also petitions GSIS to negotiate with Union Bank to open branches in strategic areas of Northern Mindanao or absorb the service charges on ATM transactions of GSIS members who wish to access their E-Card accounts through other banks, Bacal added. (PIA 10) [top]

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