THE Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) reacted to a Duediligencer piece about the delayed release of the benefit claim of Elfieda Maddara, which appeared in this space on July 27. GSIS letter, signed by Margie Jorillo, vice president, corporate communications office, and dated August 10, was addressed to Ms. Nerilyn Tenorio, editor-in-chief. It said:
“We would like to inform Mr. Perez that the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) had already released all benefits due Ms. Maddara. Her retirement benefit was processed on July 17, 2006, 11 days after she filed it on July 6, 2006. Having chosen Option 2 of retirement under Republic Act (RA) 8291, she obtained her five-year worth of pension in 2006 and has been subsequently receiving her pension five years later.
“Similarly, GSIS processed the cash surrender value of her regular life insurance policy (filed on February 13, 2006; processed on April 19, 2006), which is within the standard processing time of three months. Further, her request for the unavailed portion of her educational insurance plan under GSIS’s EduChild Program was released to her within the turnaround time (filed on January 18, 2014; processed on March 11, 2014).
“The proceeds of her two optional insurance policies, however, were the transactions that took us some time to process since we had to reconcile first her payments in our records with those from her employer in order to ensure the accurate computation of these benefits. She received the proceeds of the policies on January 28, 2014 (A1414687) and December 11, 2014 (A156783). We sincerely apologize for such delay and the inconvenience that she experienced because of it.
“We assure Ms. Maddara and the rest of our members and pensioners that we have taken steps to avoid similar delays in processing claims. We have put in place a risk management system that has enabled us to process 98 percent of all social insurance claims within the turnaround time. Under the system, we are able to review the processing efficiency of our 57 branch offices and identify best practices that we can implement across the organization. We adhere to the provisions of RA 10154 (An Act Requiring All Concerned Government Agencies to Ensure the Early Release of the Retirement Pay, Pensions, Gratuities and Other Benefits of Retiring Government Employees) with regard to the turnaround time for processing retirement, disability, life insurance and survivorship (for non-member spouse) benefits of 90 days. Survivorship benefit for member spouse should be processed within 60 days and funeral benefit, within 30 days.
“We hope you could find space for this letter in your paper to clarify our position on the matter.”
There was one positive reaction to Duediligencer that GSIS members may want to read. A certain Resty wrote: “When I applied for my pension in 2011, I was able to complete the application within the day” and that GSIS provided him “with an ITM card to withdraw my monthly pension.” He ended his comments with an encouraging note: “until now, my pension is going on smoothly.”
Apparently, Resty meant GSIS acts promptly on benefit claims as long as these are backed by the required documents for processing. This is not true only with GSIS but with other government agencies as well such as the Social Security System.
A thank you note
I thank the policemen detailed with Muntilupa City Traffic Enforcement Unit at Alabang for acting with dispatch in a vehicular accident that involved our car. It is seldom that I go to a police station to closely observe how policemen manage to divide their time in crime prevention and at the same time investigate car accidents.
In the case of the police station at the Alabang exit of South Luzon Expressway, aside from crime prevention, the policemen also keep watch over more or less a hundred cars, trucks and motorcycles that remain impounded in the area. It seems the owners are not interested in taking them back.
Not all the cars at the impounding area were involved in accidents; a few were recovered by the anti-carnapping unit that also uses the police’s impound area for recovered stolen vehicles.
Use of impounded cars
Are the policemen at the Alabang station or any of those going after carnappers and recovering stolen cars allowed to use any of those vehicles?
Yes, they can, but they may not. I posed this question when I was at the Alabang police station last week and I got this answer from Police Chief Inspector Rolando Estupin: “It is not in the law.” He meant they are not allowed to use any of the impounded cars even for official duty.
What if policemen used such cars and met an accident? Who will be held responsible for using them? Definitely, the blame would fall on the entire police force, starting with the chief.
By the way, aside from Estupin and fellow Police Chief Inspector Reynaldo Marcella, seven other policemen serve the Alabang community. They are Jesus Andayon, Isidro Miano, Alemar Cabanit, Jumar Virgilio Tira, Alex Ronda, Shinen Reyes and Mark Louie Batalao. To them all I can only say thanks for serving the public well and with utmost courtesy.