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PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Removal of ARAS benefits more than 300,000 GSIS pensioners

by Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY, JAN. 26 (PIA) -- More than 300,000 old-age and survivorship pensioners have benefitted from the removal of Annual Renewal of Active Status (ARAS).

The ARAS which was the requirement previously imposed by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to the pensioners to ensure the continued receipt of their pensions was removed last May 1, 2011.

Because of the omision of ARAS, GSIS local pensioners need not go to the GSIS offices and line up at the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing (GWAPS) kiosks on their birth month every year.

“We don’t want to subject our local pensioners to any inconvenience given their old age and fragile state of health,” GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara.

Instead of requiring the pensioners to appear in the GSIS, the pension fund has forged a partnership with the National Statistics Office and the Local Civil Registry to determine the status of GSIS pensioners.

However, Vergara, pointed out that pensioners living abroad are still required to renew their active status via video call or through Skype, a web-based software that allows users to call, free of charge, through the Internet.

Along with the removal of the ARAS, the GSIS has renewed its partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) as an alternative servicing bank for its members and pensioners.

“Aside from the Union Bank’s Network, both our pensioners and active members now have the option to use for their GSIS transactions, LANDBANK’s nearly 1,000 Automated Teller Machines have been deployed across the country, 70 percent of which are in the provinces,” Vergara said.

The GSIS has also installed nearly 500 additional GWAPs kiosks nationwide where pensioners can check their records and apply for pension loans. In November last year, the GSIS deployed 10 kiosks inside the Robinsons Mall Lingkod Pinoy Center, under a partnership with the Robinsons Land Corporation.

“The New Board and Management commit to continue to find ways so we can provide the most responsive service to our 1.7 million members and pensioners,” Vergara said. (JPA/ATR/PIA9-Zambo Norte)

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