HOW GSIS BROKE MY MOTHER-IN-LAW’S HEART…
It’s a little disappointing hearing my mother-in-law cry last night. The last time I heard her cry was 4 months ago and that was when my father-in-law died. She is too much stressed lately due to the trouble that the Government Service Insurance System or GSIS has been causing her. Thus, I have decided to write this blog entry and perhaps post prior correspondence in the hope that someone at GSIS will get to read it. I also hope that this will reach our politicians for immediate action.
My late father-in-law has been a government employee and an officer for more than 32 years the same as my mother-in-law. He works with DENR in Mati, Davao Oriental while my mother-in-law now works at the province’s state college after her stint with DENR. Both their fathers worked with the government as well until they have retired. Thus, both of them come from a family of public servants.
The issue stems when my father-in-law died last October 2009, my mother-in-law was expecting to at least receive an amount from GSIS being a form of insurance policy for government employees. When she filed her claims for surviving spouse, she was turned down by GSIS in Tagum City on the premise that she is not qualified as a surviving spouse or dependent because she is still gainfully employed.
It was mentioned by GSIS that they have released a prior memo sometime September 2009 stating that survivors who are gainfully employed and are not totally dependent on the deceased member are not qualified to claim for whatever benefit due effective March 2010. This memo was not circulated to all government employees and my mother-in-law‘s application was dated October 2009.
When she informed us about this, we all tried to research online and found some materials both from the GSIS website and from legal forums. My concern now is that the affectivity date is set for March 2010 and so any application for claim of benefits should still be accommodated. Right? If not, GSIS should have at least informed members that their heirs should be unemployed if they were to die soon!
More so, my brother-in-law who is 19 years old should at least qualify as a dependent child and therefore, in the midst of my mother-in-law being disqualified due to her employment status, claims for benefits should at least be granted. I was just wondering why both my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law were disqualifed. Thus, rendering the benefits and contributions of my father-in-law useless.
I was disappointed by this. I have always had this high respect to the government. I finished my studies from the income that my parents worked hard for from the government being government employees. This was the very reason why I immediately took and passed the Career Service Professional eligibility exam upon graduation from college.
Now, I get to doubt if all the efforts of paying my taxes right and my social security is indeed worth it or am I just enriching corrupt officials in doing so? Imagine the extravagant purchases of famous paintings made by GSIS through Mr. Winston Garcia, the lucrative compensation packages of its officials and all the huge investment that the institution engaged into only to tell the nation that it cannot deliver basic services to the people due to issues with funds and with policies?
Imagine having to serve your country for more than 32 years and imagine having to pay your monthly contributions to GSIS or SSS for almost 32 years only for nothing. Three years before your retirement age of 65, you get to pass away leaving nothing to your heirs because your wife is still working or that your kids are 19 years old up. Thus, the government gets all your benefits back including interest!
Tsk. We thought of going to DENR to ask if we can avail of getting the premiums paid or all the monthly contributions plus interest as most legal forums would tell that this is allowed but to no avail. We were not even able to claim for the death and burial benefits of my father-in-law. Now, we just want our mother-in-law to retire since most of us are working and GSIS would definitely disqualify claims for her.
I am a little frustrated now so I write this. I am planning to send a letter to Imbestigador and XXX in the hope that they will get to investigate such cruelty done by GSIS to its members. I am thinking as well of not paying my social security since I am the same age as my wife and she is working too. I might pass away and end up with my family not getting any because my wife is not a dependent of mine! Tsk!
To this end, I ask our politicians to act on this as we have thousands if not millions of government employees out there who pay their monthly contributions religiously in the hope that they will have something for their family someday. What GSIS is doing is stealing money from them by asking them to pay and putting out a memo that their survivors should be unemployed or they will get none!
Last Christmas at an ATM booth, I heard an old lady complaining that her GSIS survivorship pension is delayed. Others may fear speaking about this but my mother-in-law was able to voiced out her sentiments in a recent conference in Manila with fellow government employees. She was promised by a GSIS officer that they will do something about it. I just wonder if GSIS is indeed doing something about it. Hmp!
Now I cannot blame others in their speculations that GSIS took down its database system to be able to prevent audits an steal more as the government changes administration. Thus, corrupt people can steal money without fear of being traced due to corrupted data reports. As some would say, it’s election time and it’s the best time to steal and invest people’s contributions on campaigns! Tsk!
I would like to thank former Congressman and now Vice Governor Mayo Almario of Davao Oriental for all his efforts and assistance with regards to this issue. Posted below is a screenshot of a note from his Facebook Page. I do hope that other officials would do the same for their constituents.