The Government Service Insurance System marked its 75th year last month with no more rallies outside its doors, and management points to the reforms it has instituted that made this so, a press release from GSIS said.
GSIS chairman Daniel Lacson Jr. recalled that when President Benigno Aquino III appointed him, his first instruction was for him to look into the state of GSIS because of numerous complaints that the president had received about it.
Lacson, former Negros Occidental governor, said that, true enough, on his fifth day at the GSIS, he was informed that rallyists composed of teachers were converging outside the building.
He recalled that they let them in and discussed their “litany of complaints” in a two-hour intense dialog. This also surprised the rallyists because they said it was the first time they were allowed inside the GSIS office for a dialog, the press release said.
Lacson said the new GSIS management is consultative, transparent, and service-focused; one that forges new dimension in its relationship with its stakeholders, and one that follows Aquino’s lead where the stakeholders is the Boss.
President Aquino, who was guest of honor at the anniversary program, said, “Today, the 1.7 million members and pensioners of the GSIS are slowly feeling the fresh winds of change at the pension fund… it is now more pro-member… more attuned to the needs and welfare of its stakeholders.”
These initiatives include deployment of additional 500 GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System kiosks in 2011, on top of the existing 250 units around the country; revoking of personal appearance requirement for pensioners or the Annual Renewal of Active Status; partnership with Landbank as additional service bank for access of members and pensioners to its nearly 1,000 ATMs, on top of the 224 ATMs of the Union Bank, the press release said.
Restoring the survivorship benefit of deceased members’ qualified survivors; liberalizing the terms of its Emergency Loan Program; rationalizing its Home Lending Program; implementing Educational Assistance Program; and enhancing its Scholarship Program, are also among policy changes at the GSIS.
GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara, meanwhile said that in response to Aquino’s challenge, the new GSIS leadership revisited its policies and programs to make them more accessible and responsive to its members.*