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PIA Press Release
2009/06/05

Teachers' group to pressure GSIS, IBM on database mess

by Roberto M. Cabardo

Cebu City (5 June) -- There seems to be no end for problems that beset the government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) -- Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) today as a group of the majority of its members now feel the burden that the office has created.

This after a series of intermittent systems failure of the computer systems of GSIS created more problems among members especially those who applied for loans in time for the enrolment this school year.

Despite the claim of GSIS that the system failure is not of their own doing but that of the IBM and its Philippine counterpart, Questronix Corporation, public school teachers now contemplate on airing their gripes by putting more pressure on the GSIS to address the problem immediately.

An emailed press statement from GSIS PR official Gretchen Pangilinan dated yesterday states that the Philippine Public School teachers Association (PPSTA) - the biggest and foremost professional association of the public school teachers in the country - said that it would do its share to pressure GSIS and IBM until the case is resolved because it believes that the sad thing about it is it won't be the GSIS nor the IBM that would be severely affected by the problem but the teachers who are always at the short end of the stick and that it, therefore, must stop.

The GSIS earlier announced that IBM's database management software, dubbed as DB2, which is installed in its system a few years ago, has failed to live up to its promise of handling huge volumes of GSIS data.

Because of this, the GSIS system eventually crashed that paralyzed major operations of the pension fund, resulting in the slowdown of its claims and loans processing.

GSIS claims that it has written to the top IBM head in the United States to demand the IT giant for a permanent fix to its software and to shoulder the costs the inherent defects of the software have caused to the GSIS system and its operations.

PPSTA said it is high time the teachers look for the root cause of their problems with their GSIS records.

"If IBM's software is indeed the source of our problem, then they should be held liable for it. We should go directly at the real culprit of our problem," the group said.

The group also hopes that GSIS can compel IBM to look at how much damage their alleged continued inaction on the matter has adversely affected thousands of public school teachers in the Philippines.

The PPSTA is the biggest professional association of public school teachers with more than 200,000 members nationwide.

In the Philippines, the public school teachers are generally overburdened not only of work in the classroom but also of financial woes. (PIA Cebu) [top]

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