OVER 25,000 government employees may lose their pension and other benefits unless some government agencies and local government units pay P2.38 billion in contributions and loan payments, the pension fund said Thursday.
Some 287 government agencies and local government units were suspended at the end of June for not remitting their employees’ premiums, loan payments, and other compulsory contributions that had been withheld from their salaries, pension fund spokesman Margie Jorillo said.
Private employees in the Philippines like in the United States get their pension from Social Security when they retire. Government employees receive the pension from the GSIS. Unscrupulous private employers deprive the employees of their pension by not remitting their contributions deducted from their paychecks and the equivalent share of the employe. Not many employees bother to check from the SSS of the total amount remitted under their name until they need medicare or apply for a salary or housing loan. Unlike here in the States when an employee receives a statement of account from the SSS two months before their birthday. In the statement, the remittances per period are presented; the amount of pension or disability benefits are estimated and the death benefits as well as the dependents (minor children and wife) are stipulated.
In the Philippines, no one can complain because they do not know what amount of pension and other benefits they are entitled to. Without complaint from the employees, the employer is adding that to their revenues. .
So I thought it is another story for government employees. Since, the fringe benefits which include GSIS premium coverage are included in the budget, there seems to be no problem where the fund will be coming from.
And yet, the Caloocan City government and other LGUs were found to be delinquent in remitting these contributions due for government employees. The total amount contributed and distributed are the basis of the pension once the employee retires.
The lower the amount, the lower is the pension. Technically, these incompetent government officials are robbing the poor ordinary employees of their pension for life.
Other government employees who may have occupied top positions would not care about the small amount they are going to receive because their corruptions have earned them more than what they can spend for the rest of their lives.
Here is the news:
MANILA, Philippines - Aside from Caloocan City, nearly 300 other local government units (LGUs) have been delinquent in payment of employee contributions to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
In an interview over dzMM, GSIS general manager Margie Jurillo said these agencies and their heads are facing penal sanctions for violating Republic Act 8291, also known as the GSIS Act of 1997, which mandates employers to collect and remit contributions of pension fund members.
"Marami-rami po ang delayed o hindi nakakabayad... halos 300 ahensya. Karamihan po dito ay local governments," Jurillo said.
"Kapag ho ganito, suspended po ang ahensya, 'di makakapag-avail ang empleyado ng ano mang benepisyo, loans and dividends."
Jurillo said the suspension can only be lifted once the affected agency enters into a memorandum of agreement with GSIS on the resumption of contribution payments until the agency's full obligation is paid.
In the case of Caloocan, for example, she said GSIS has formed a team that includes a representative of current Mayor Enrico Echiverri to "reconcile" records of the city government and GSIS on contributions, and determine the exact amount of obligation. Echiverri and three other officials of Caloocan are facing charges for non-remittance of over P341 million employee contributions to GSIS.
"Ngayon may meeting kami. May mga empleyado ng Caloocan na nag-retire na pala or namatay na. Magbibigay sila ng updated service record sa GSIS," Jurillo said.
Jurillo then came to the defense of Echiverri, saying that bulk of Caloocan's obligation to the agency was incurred during the terms of the two mayors before him.
"Yung payable nila sa GSIS mula July 1997 to June 2011. Hindi pa mayor si Echiverri. Out of the P341 million, malaki dito na babayaran nung panahon ni Mayor (Macario) Asistio and Mayor (Reynaldo) Malonzo. Kay Mayor Echiverri P5.2 million lang," she said.
The Office of Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Echiverri on the basis of the complaint filed against him by Caloocan vice mayor Edgar Erice.
Echiverri has filed a petition before the Court of Appeals to block the suspension order. He maintained he was faithful in remitting contributions to GSIS.
Centralized payrollOne solution to the GSIS problem, meanwhile, is a centralized payroll system that the Aquino government plans to adopt next year, according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
He said under the plan, salaries of state workers will no longer go through agencies, but will be deposited by the national treasury directly to government banks after deducting GSIS premium contributions and the withholding tax.
"Imbes na bababa pa ang pera sa ahensya, ang magiging central pay master, yung treasury. Ihahanda ng agencies ang payroll, isu-submit sa treasury, tapos treasury ang didirecho ng pera sa bank accounts ng empleyado," he said.
Abad said the IT infrastructure for the system is now being readied so it can be rolled out by the second quarter of 2012.
"Magkakaroon ng bidding para dyan. Ang DBM, Commission on Audit, Department of Finance and Treasury naguusap dun sa design at sistema para ma-pilot test at implement fully next year."