Tell it to SunStar: Solve teachers’ problems

THE appointment of GSIS Chairman Rolando Macasaet as its officer-in-charge (OIC) may solve the alleged internal problems within the pension fund, but it would never solve the GSIS-related concerns of its members, especially public school teachers.

We would like to reiterate that this GSIS, instead of helping their members, has continuously worsenened the financial burden of many of our public school teachers because of their unfair policies. In particular, the policy of penalizing teachers because of so-called non-payment of debts, which, according to existing rules, should be automatic. Meaning, the DepEd and the GSIS are tasked to ensure the payment thru a system which the teachers have nothing to do with. This is their simplified solution, a convenient way to gain more funds from the lowly-paid public school teachers, their captive clients.

We have tried several forums like dialogues, mass actions and even a meeting in the presence of representatives from DepEd. Unfortunately, the GSIS representatives in those forums have been consistently and mercilessly putting the blame on our poor teachers. We refuse to believe that such insensitive gestures reflect the official position of the GSIS on the matter. We want to convince ourselves that the GSIS is consistent with the very reason for its existence--to serve the civil servants, ensure their welfare and to be depended upon by them especially in times of need.

Last year, we sent formal appeal to all the members of the GSIS Board, including then Chairman Macasaet, to waive the so-called arrearages and penalties that incurred because of the system’s failure, particularly the lapses on the part of either the DepEd or the GSIS. For us, this is the most humane solution that the GSIS may undertake to solve the problem. Teachers, being the biggest contributors to the GSIS funds should be treated fairly and be given due consideration.

We hope that Mr. Macasaet and the rest of the GSIS Board would also consider solving the predicament of our teachers and would not only prioritize the distribution of fat bonuses for themselves and their employees.


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