More sustainable, responsive state pension fund

  • Written by Mario Fetalino Jr.
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 289
NOW here’s something that government workers should know. State pension fund Government Service
Insurance System (GSIS) will restore the policy requiring the annual reporting of all GSIS
Dubbed Annual Pensioners Information Revalidation (APIR), the program requires all GSIS
old-age and survivorship pensioners to appear personally at any GSIS office or use the GSIS
Wireless Automated Processing System (GWAPS) kiosk to activate their status and ensure the
continuous receipt of their pension.
Under APIR, GSIS will undertake a three-month reactivation period from March 23 to June 30,
2018. During this period, all pensioners who are 79 years old and below, regardless of birth month,
will have to do the information revalidation process and reactivate their status.
Not required to report for APIR during the three-month reactivation period are permanent
total disability pensioners; pensioners aged 80 and above or those with medical condition, legal
guardians (who are not survivorship pensioners) of incapacitated and/or dependent children; and
old-age pensioners who are active GSIS members at the same time.
GSIS pensioners may reactivate their status in GWAPS kiosks that are installed in GSIS
offices; provincial capitols; city halls; selected municipal offices; large government agencies,
such as the Department of Education; Robinsons Malls; and selected SM City branches in Mall of
Asia, North EDSA, Manila, Pampanga, Cebu, and SM Aura in Taguig.
GSIS will also set up APIR caravans in selected municipalities to bring its services closer
to pensioners. The details of the APIR caravan will be announced through text messages as well as
television and radio stations.
Pensioners who are residing abroad and in the ARMM areas are also exempted from undertaking
the APIR during the three-month period, as they have continuously been subjected to the annual
renewal process of GSIS.
“We are calling on our pensioners to revalidate their status as guardians of GSIS fund.
This is one way of ensuring that the System will be sustainable, which will benefit not only the
present crop of pensioners, but future pensioners as well,” president and general manager Jesus
Clint Aranas said.
For the purpose of reactivation, pensioners have to bring their GSIS eCard or Unified
Multi-Purpose Identification (UMID) card. If the UMID card or eCard is not available, any two valid
government-issued IDs with picture and signature may be presented.
After the scheduled three-month reactivation period, pensioners are reminded to renew their
status during their birth month as well.
Meanwhile, the agency will auction off its Port Area property, the biggest of its assets,
for a minimum cash price offer of P20 billion.
The property, which consists of two lots with land areas of 672,645 sq. m. and 109,212 sq.
m, is near the vicinity of Pier 2 Manila North Harbor and Negros Navigation Ferry Terminal in
Tondo, Manila.
“Although it tops our big-ticket assets, we are selling the Port Area property as it does
not contribute to our operations except for valuation gains. And we expect to fetch a good price as
it is situated in the Manila Bay area where properties have  enjoyed a 10-15% appraisal gains over
the last five years.
The Port of Manila Bay serves as the largest and the premier international shipping gateway
to the country which spells economic growth.
The sale of big-ticket assets in the past few years also yielded considerable gain for the
pension fund. As of November 2016, GSIS’s total asset is worth P1.09 trillion.
GSIS finds it timely to liquidate the Port Area property and take advantage of the
attractive real estate market values in the Manila Bay area. In fact, it is  eyeing a considerable
gain on the sale of this asset.
“This will go to the pool of assets that can be invested,” Aranas said.
Looks like the GSIS chief is up to the challenge of bringing reforms at the agency and
making it more sustainable for the benefit of our government workers.
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