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PIA Press Release

GSIS spurs local economy in Butuan; lends P178.36-M from Jan-May '09

Butuan City (June 29) -- The Government Service Insurance System has disbursed a total of P178.36 million loans to its members and pensioners covered by the Butuan regional office during the first five months of the year, as the pension fund continues to fuel the local economy here through its various loan products despite the problems posed by the defective IBM-DB2 database management software.

Of the said amount, P163.58 million in proceeds came from loans applied through the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (G-W@PS) kiosk.

Among the loan products that are available through the G-W@PS include the Consolidated Loan (ConsoLoan), the P10,000-Cash Advance Plus (eCAP), Emergency Loan, Optional Policy Loan, and Policy Loan.

The ConsoLoan provided the biggest amount of proceeds during the period at P143.42 million.

On the other hand, P14.77 million in proceeds came from loans applied over the counter (OTC).

Among the loan products available through OTC include ConsoLoan, Optional Policy Loan, Policy Loan, and Pension Loan.

Pension Loan generated the biggest amount of proceeds at P8.98 million.

GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia said through the loans it disburses to its members and pensioners, the pension fund helps fuel economic growth in the region, either directly or indirectly.

"When our members apply for loans, they usually use the money either for big purchases, to pay for another loan or to start a business. Whichever the case may be, the money eventually finds itself back to the market," he said.

Mr. Garcia added that the pension fund continues to provide service to its members and pensioners in Butuan despite the adverse effects of the defective IBM-DB2 software to the GSIS's operations.

"Despite the still unresolved problem in our system brought about by the faulty database management software of IBM Corp., we are not allowing the situation derail the delivery of our service to our stakeholders," he said.

Even at the onset of the DB2-induced system crashes in March, the GSIS never ceased disbursing monthly pension benefits to its pensioners through their eCard Plus. In addition, the G-W@PS kiosks continue to facilitate the enrollment and activation of eCards.

Loan applications may be done over-the-counter during the times the kiosks are down although admittedly processing of loans will still take some time.

In the meantime, Mr. Garcia assures all GSIS members and pensioners that the integrity of all membership data has not been compromised and no data is lost. For every step of a process, records are preserved and kept in perpetual storage.

Last June 3, the GSIS filed a civil case against IBM Corp., IBM Philippines, and IBM business partner Questronix Corp. as it asked the court to order these companies to pay the GSIS P100 million in damages.

The 18-page complaint filed before the Pasay Regional Trial Court was an action for tort and breach of contract to hold the defendants liable for the damage caused by the defective software it licensed to the GSIS.

Tort law defines what constitutes a legal injury and establishes the circumstances under which one may be held liable for another's injury.

The case stemmed from IBM's database management software, called the IBM DB2, whose defect resulted in intermittent crashes in the GSIS system that paralyzed its operations.

Meanwhile, the GSIS Butuan Regional Office has processed P85.56 million in retirement claims for January to May; P.7.65 million for survivorship claims; P21.84 million for regular life claims; and P3.99 million for optional life claims.

As of end-May 2009, the GSIS Butuan Regional Office, which has under its jurisdiction the Surigao and Tandag branch offices, covers a total of 20,814 active members, 4,626 old-age and survivorship pensioners, and 239 agencies. (GSIS-Caraga/PIA-Caraga) [top]

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