The women’s partylist group GABRIELA today sought an investigation into moves of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to invest $1B of its pension funds into a global investment program that will entrust the handling and management of the pension funds to private international fund managers.
In a resolution filed by GABRIELA Representatives Liza Maza and Luz Ilagan, Bayan Muna Reps. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casino and Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran, the militant solons insisted that the investment of funds should not come before financing the claims of members and pensioners.
“Instead of investing the $ 1 billion in the international market, GSIS should meet its current responsibilities to its members by utilizing the pension fund to increase the dividends, retirement pay, and pension of government employees and former government employees, reduce the interest rates and loan surcharges, and invest in their employees’ training as well as search for ways to attain improved services,” they said in the resolution.
“Several complaints of members and pensioners, have been brought to our attention, such as those of the Iloilo Council of Personnel Officers’ Association (ICPO) who had claimed that some non-mandatory retirees only received 50 percent of what is due them. Several government employees continue to report underpayment of or delayed premiums. Until these problems are addressed GSIS has no business getting into financial arrangements such as the global investment program,” said GABRIELA Representative Liza Maza who led the filing of the resolution.
Just last week GSIS President Winston Garcia announced that they have already awarded ING Investment Management and Credit Agricole Assset Management (Singapore) the mandate to manage $1B worth of funds in its global investment program.
“The GSIS charter provides that it may pursue such investments into the international market only if these funds are not needed to meet the current obligations of GSIS. Is the GSIS board violating its own charter?” asked Maza.
Meanwhile, members of the Confederation for the Unity Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE) trooped to the House of Representatives to express their support for the resolution.
“Certainly, there is a need to look into the financial status of the GSIS, to ascertain whether it can and should venture into these investments. We need to make sure that government employees and pensioners will not see themselves in the losing end.” said Rep. Maza. #