GSIS: Publish list of major deadbeats

Published by rudy Date posted on May 20, 2011

According to a report on the ABS-CBN News website, “the debt-ridden Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has seen a possible solution to stay afloat and pay its housing and educational plan holders. The solution is to force some of the agency’s executives to go on forced retirement, as well as sell its painting collection and real estate properties.”

Good luck to GSIS President Roberto Vergara on that fund raising plan. They must be dreaming or smoking some illegal substance if they truly believe what they told ABS-CBN that they can earn up to P500 million if they can sell the paintings in the GSIS museum. I doubt if the paintings including Juan Luna’s “Parisian Life,” which the GSIS bought for P46 million in 2001 can collectively raise P200 million quickly.

What GSIS should do is to go hammer and tongs after the politicians and their cronies who owe GSIS a lot of money. It is unfortunate that Ate Glue appointed an ego-maniac to head GSIS who did all sorts of things except serve the interests of the government employees. He bought paintings and engaged in heated (and expensive) predatory moves on Meralco and other private sector businesses.

Now, it seems the good guys P-Noy appointed to run GSIS have to spend a lot of time housecleaning before they can even get down to the business of professionally running a pension fund for government employees. Bitay Lacson, Mr Vergara and the board of trustees must have the guts to soon find out how committed P-Noy is in going through the daang matuwid in running GSIS. Politics, being what it is here, could get in the way of good governance.

Perhaps, the next thing the GSIS management must do now is to publish a list of past due accounts over P10 million including details on the principals of corporations who got the loans. Indeed, Courage and other government workers unions should demand it be done. With known FG altar boys in the board of the past board, the list should not be too surprising but should be made public anyway. GSIS members should know who and where to picket next.

I am sure the GSIS can raise more funds by going after the deadbeats who got loans in the past than by selling their paintings. According to the ABS-CBN story, Mr. Vergara has no illusions either. “While the plan is not expected to pay for all of the GSIS’ debts estimated at P15 billion, Vergara said the proposal will help the agency raise money to meet its responsibilities to members.”

I have seen how Mr. Vergara squirmed while being interviewed on TV Patrol. I get the feeling that he is a professional who gave up a lucrative funds management career abroad to make a difference in public service. I hope P-Noy will give him his total support once he starts collecting from cronies of past administrations, specially the last one.

But GSIS should go ahead and retire as planned, three executive vice-presidents, three senior vice-presidents, and 10 vice-presidents. GSIS is too top heavy anyway and its executives and board members too well compensated for the quality of service delivered to its members. It was shocking to hear that the past board members got P11 million each annually. Unfortunately, the most we can do now is ask Kim Henares to check if they paid the right amount of taxes. -Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star)

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