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BARP Foundation Delegation Meets with GSIS TOP Management, Seeks to End Woes of Elderly Pensioners

11.Dec.2010.Sat 12:00:00am

GSIS reverses rule on survivors of pensioners
By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) Updated December 11, 2010

In this photo L-R GSIS President and GM Robert Vergara, BARP Foundation President/ CEO Prof. Federico Balanag Cong. Emmeline Aglipay

MANILA, Philippines - The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has reversed a controversial rule that has prevented survivors of pensioners from receiving their benefits.

The previous administration strictly implemented a ruling that prevented surviving spouses of GSIS members and pensioners to receive their monthly pension benefits if they are gainfully employed and have other sources of income.

However, in a meeting on Wednesday, the newly constituted Board of Trustees of GSIS reversed some of the stringent rules on the qualification for GSIS survivorship pension that has prevented them from enjoying the benefit.

The resolution now allows surviving spouses of members and pensioners to receive their monthly pension benefits even if they are gainfully employed and receiving other sources of income.

GSIS president and general manager Robert Vergara said the review of the policies is in line with the thrusts of the Aquino Administration to institute “transparency, accountability and good corporate governance in the bureaucracy.”

The directive removes provisions in the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the GSIS Charter (RA 8291), which disqualified surviving spouses from getting the usual half of the GSIS pensioners’ monthly benefit.

This is if the spouse earns more than the minimum wage rate of National Government employees or is getting pension from other institutions, no matter what amount.

This controversial provision in the IRR noted that a surviving spouse must be “dependent for support” on the deceased pensioners and is not “gainfully employed” to get the survivorship benefit.

Surviving spouses of deceased pensioners have been appealing this provision. The new board, in removing the restrictions to qualify for survivorship pension, recognized that “gainful employment” does not imply that a surviving spouse is no longer dependent for support upon the deceased member or pensioner. The new board cited the Family Code which defined support as everything indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the financial capacity of the family.

By: Federico Balanag

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