The country’s largest labor group yesterday said the foreign investments of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) were found to be generally safe.
“Based on our cursory review of the stated investments, we consider the pension fund’s overseas portfolio to be generally safe, balanced and sound. GSIS members and pensioners can now sleep better at night,” Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) secretary-general and former senator Ernesto Herrera said.
Based on the GSIS’ disclosure, none of the banks listed are particularly at risk of collapsing.
“The GSIS may have suffered temporary losses on account of the sharp decline in the prices of these bank stocks due to the worsening global financial crisis, but these losses are temporary. Once the prices of these bank stocks recover, the portfolio should also recover,” Herrera stressed.
He welcomed the decision of the GSIS to disclose details of its multi-billion investments overseas in a two-page advertisement published in The STAR last Friday.
“We are not out to make things difficult for the GSIS. We just wanted absolute transparency and full disclosure that are consistent with good governance and public accountability. And now we have it. This is good – that the GSIS has finally decided to come clean,” Herrera said in a statement.
Aside from the TUCP, members of the Senate have urged the GSIS to disclose the details of its Global Investment Program (GIP).
Herrera said TUCP would have eventually gone to court to compel the GSIS to disclose the details of its GIP had the pension agency not voluntarily published the details.
The GSIS listed the details of its GIP to include P10.456 billion of investments in “global fixed income” instruments, P4.127 billion in “global equities,” P3.08 billion in “global property securities,” and P8.875 billion in “cash, short-term notes and other investments.”
While the GSIS did not provide the exact amounts it invested in every type of instrument, Herrera said the TUCP still welcomed the listing.–Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star