December 08, 2005

GSIS opens up more eCard centers for old-age pensioners, members

medium_update_remit.3.gifThe Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) opens this week eCard enrollment centers in its 11 branches to service the eCard applications of its old-age pensioners and members.

These 11 branches are bunched up into three area clusters: the Cebu cluster (Cebu, Dumaguete, and Bohol), the Tuguegarao cluster (Tuguegarao, Bayombong, and Cauayan), and the Davao cluster (Davao, Cotabato, Kidapawan, General Santos, and and Tagum).

Earlier, the GSIS also opened eCard enrollment in 10 branches belonging to the Pampanga cluster (Pampanga, Tarlac, Cabanatuan, and Bataan), Naga cluster (Naga, Legaspi, and Sorsogon), and Batangas cluster (Batangas, Laguna, and Lucena).

The opening up of eCard enrollment centers in these branches is part of the Phase 3 of the eCard’s rollout program, aimed at providing eCards to old-age pensioners and the less than 10 percent of active GSIS members who have yet to secure their eCards.

Phase 1 of the rollout plan—implemented during the early part of 2004—entailed the pilot testing of the application process among GSIS employees. The GSIS implemented Phase 2 from September 2004 up to November this year, entailing the massive distribution of eCards to the 1.366 million GSIS members all over the country.

Success marked the implementation of the first two phases of the eCard rollout plan as the GSIS managed to give out eCards to 1,216,062 equivalent about 90 percent of GSIS members.

Under the Phase 3 scheme, active members can apply for an eCard in any GSIS office equipped with enrollment facilities. Old-age pensioners, meanwhile, can file their applications in their respective GSIS servicing branches.

Once their records are verified, they would undergo a data capture process where their photographs and other biometric information will be taken.

Their application would then be sent to Unionbank’s central card production unit in Metro Manila, after which the eCards would be sent back to the GSIS branches, ready to be picked up by the applicants. GSIS assured the entire process of obtaining the eCard would take no more than two weeks.

Old age pensioners can then use the eCard as their official GSIS ID. Plans are also underway for old-age pensioners to be able to get their monthly pensions thru the eCard, the GSIS said.

November 29, 2005

GSIS website bags Philippine Webby’s People’s Choice award

medium_splashguidelines.jpgThe Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) website—www.gsis.gov.ph— bagged the distinction as the most popular government site after receiving the Philippine Web Award’s (PWA) People’s Choice in the e-Government category over the weekend.

The GSIS website bested other government websites in the category, including those of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Animal Industry, DBP Data Center, Provincial Government of Bulacan, National Kidney and Transplant Institute and the Local Government Academy.

With the recognition, the GSIS site is now officially a part of the elite circle of the “Best of the Philippine Web,” a reputation it shares with some of the finest Filipino-developed websites this year.

GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia, the chief architect behind the many groundbreaking features implemented in the GSIS website, said he is ecstatic and grateful for the PWA award.

“The big deal about the GSIS website being popular is the fact that many people are appreciating our online services. When people—especially our members—appreciate our site, we know many people are benefiting from it. It’s the best recognition there is,” Garcia said.

Garcia attributed the popularity of the GSIS website to its numerous innovative programs that utilize the internet.

For one, by simply visiting the GSIS site, members can check the updated records of their individual accounts such as premium payments, records of creditable service, life insurance policy data, among others.

GSIS members can even apply for a one-time P5,000 cash advance over the Net, the proceeds of which are disbursed directly to their eCards under the state pension fund’s eGranting system.

The GSIS eGranting system is also a first, being the only loan program offered by a government financial institution (GFI) where the borrower can apply and consequently obtain loan proceeds without going to any GSIS office.

Prior to the People’s Choice award, the GSIS website also holds the distinction of being the most popular Philippine government website in terms of reach and page views, according to top40.cebu-online.com, a site which comes up with daily updates on the most visited Philippine websites.

In fact, as of November 29, gsis.gov.ph ranked 18th in the list of the most visited Philippine sites, based on average Internet traffic for the last three months. The GSIS website is the only Philippine government website that made it to the top 20 ranking.

November 25, 2005

GSIS issues guidelines on cancelled checks

medium_smiling_20pensioner_on.jpgTo insure a uniformly trouble-free transaction for its members, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has issued a guideline on the cancellation and replacement of returned GSIS on-line checks.

The guideline is contained in Office Order No. 100-05, signed by GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia last November 17.

This means that all cancelled GSIS checks with pending replacement requests, even prior to November 17, will now be processed based on the procedure laid down by the said office order.

“This Order shall cover on-line checks which have been released directly to the Payee or delivered thru the Payee’s duly authorized representative or via the Philippine Postal Corporation or Private Courier and subsequently returned to GSIS for various valid reasons,” read the office order.

The directive covers cases such as checks accidentally damaged during handling and loan or dividend checks that were withheld due to the suspension of the member’s agency.

Also included in the guidelines are cancelled checks due to the death of payee, emancipation of a dependent child pensioner, and remarriage of dependent spouse.

It also addresses instances where checks are returned to the GSIS due to payee’s incorrect address (and similar cases such as address is not found and change of address), stale checks, change in payee’s name, error in processing, and death of payee.

More significantly, the directive lays down the procedure for replacements of returned checks, especially those with undelivered or stale checks.

For instance, it says the payee who wanted his or her returned check replaced must file a request form for this purpose. Attached with the original copy of the returned check, the request will trigger a formal evaluation and subsequent processing of a new one.

Returned checks with no request for replacement shall be immediately forwarded by the authorized GSIS receiving units for tagging in the GSIS database as cancelled, electronic voiding of transaction and recording in the books. 

The guideline also covers cases where the payee dies before negotiating the check. If the payee is an active member or old-age pensioner, the GSIS will cancel the check and instead reprocess it as death claim.

November 24, 2005

GSIS gets ‘easy recall’ access number for e-Text service

medium_etext.jpgBeginning December 3, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will use a new access number for members wanting to use the GSIS eText service.

The new access number, 4747, replaces old 2930 being used by for Globe and Touch Mobile users. The new access number, according to the GSIS, is meant to promote easy recall because 4747 is the alphanumeric equivalent of “GSIS” in most mobile phone keypads.

Smart and Talk ‘N Text users can still use the access number 248 for this service.

The GSIS eText is a major component of the GSIS modernization program, meant to allow members to access their GSIS records “anytime and anywhere.”

To use this service, members need to register first by typing “GSISREGpolicy numberlast namefirst name” on their mobile phone and send to 4747 (for GLOBE and Touch Mobile) or 248 (for Smart and Talk ‘N Text).

Once a member successfully registers, the member can inquire about his or her salary or policy loans, retirement benefits, and even premium payments, by merely typing GSIS codes and sending these to the eText access numbers.

The codes for salary loan related concerns are as follows: GSIS SLBAL (To inquire about salary outstanding balance), GSIS SLSTAT (salary loan application status), GSIS SLAMT (loanable amount from salary loan), and GSIS DLPSL (the date of last payment posted for salary loan).

For policy loans: GSIS PLAMT (to inquire about loanable amount from policy loan), GSIS PLBAL (policy outstanding balance), GSIS PLSTAT (policy loan application status), and GSIS DLPPL (date of last payment posted for policy loan).

For retirement concerns: GSIS RCSTAT (to inquire about retirement claim status) GSIS RCAMT (claimable amount from retirement), and GSIS BMPEN (basic monthly pension as computed).

For GSIS premiums inquiry, registered members can text GSIS DLPPR (data of last payment posted for premiums) and GSIS CSYRS (years of creditable service per GSIS record).

To date, the GSIS has about 30,000 active users. GSIS said despite the new access numbers, Globe subscribers who have already used GSIS eText need not register anew.

November 23, 2005

Satellite offices tackled in GSIS Members’ Hour

medium_2.jpgThe Government Service Insurance System has shifted to top gear its commitment to put up more satellite offices in remote points of the country to service its members.

GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia said, true to the GSIS’ “Kahit Saan, Kahit Kailan Maasahan” slogan, the state pension fund is looking at having at least 18 satellite offices by 2006.

The creation of satellite offices is a brainchild of Garcia. However, this being an innovation, many GSIS members are still unfamiliar how to take advantage of its benefits.

Questions often crop up, such as: “What are the GSIS services can members avail from satellite offices?” and “What are the differences between satellite, district, or field offices?”

These, among others, are some of the queries GSIS officials hope to clarify as satellite offices take center stage in this Friday’s episode of the “GSIS Members’ Hour.”

GSIS Field Operations Groups Senior Vice President Alex Valencerina, Vice President Edgar Eduardo, and Vice President Zenaida Ferrer were invited to explain the many benefits of putting up satellite offices.

Aired over NBN-4 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., GSIS Members’ Hour serves as a virtual dialogue between the GSIS and its 1.3 million members.

The show is hosted by NBN's Toby Nebrida, GSIS Vice President Eric Zerrudo and lawyer Star Elamparo.

The GSIS Members' Hour is a proud recipient of the Anak TV seal for its family-friendly program format.

The show is also aired simulcast over Radyo ng Bayan at 738khz on the AM band. Viewers may send comments, questions and suggestions by texting (0917) 8190226 or via the email address members_hour@gsis.gov.ph.

November 22, 2005

GSIS LAUNCHES ECARD FOR OLD-AGE PENSIONERS IN CENTRAL LUZON

medium_update_remit.gifThe Government Service Insurance System will start the issuance of its multi-purpose eCard to old age pensioners in Central Luzon with the simultaneous opening of eCard enrollment centers in Pampanga, Bataan, Nueva Ecija and Tarlac this Thursday, November 24.

GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia said the latest phase of the eCard rollout will cover 7,481 old-age pensioners covered by the Pampanga, Tarlac, Cabanatuan and Bataan branches, as well as regular members who have not yet secured their eCards.

“This is the final phase of our eCard rollout, which includes our pensioners. The Pampanga cluster is the pilot enrollment area for our pensioners in the provinces, and we will soon go to other parts of the country to cover all our members,” Mr. Garcia said.

Mr. Garcia said GSIS pensions would soon be coursed through the eCards, eliminating the need for check preparation and distribution as well as the tedious tasks of waiting for check clearing and going to the banks to encash pension checks.

The Pampanga cluster enrollment centers are located in the GSIS branch offices in San Ramon, Dinalupihan, Bataan; McArthur Highway, Sindalan, San Fernando City in Pampanga; Uquico Oval, San Roque, Tarlac; and NFA Compound, Maharlika Road, Cabanatuan City in Nueva Ecija. Latest figures from the GSIS showed that 1,212,881 regular members have been issued their eCards, or nearly 89% of the total active membership of 1.366 million.

GSIS pensioners, on the other hand, number more than 135,000, with only six percent or 8,248 having been issued their eCards mostly in Quezon City and the GSIS main office in Pasay City.

The old age pensioners who are qualified to secure their eCards are those who retired from the government service under the various retirement laws being administered by the GSIS, namely, Republic Act 8291, Presidential Decree No. 1146 and Republic Act 660.

Aside from serving as the universal ID card for all GSIS members, the eCard serves as a disbursement card through which proceeds of approved loans and claims applications will be received and withdrawn from any of the more than 5,200 automated teller machines (ATMs) of Megalink, Bancnet and Expressnet. To date, all salary and policy loans proceeds are credited to the eCards of regular members.

Upon issuance of the eCard, a savings account with no required maintaining balance is automatically opened with the Union Bank of the Philippines (UBP) for the member. UBP is the partner-bank of the GSIS in the eCard project.

As the access key to the membership electronic database, members can also view their individual service records and loan accounts status online through the website www.gsis.gov.ph.

November 21, 2005

TOP LOCAL EXECS GRACE OPENING OF GSIS CALAPAN SATELLITE OFFICE

The Government Service Insurance System has formally opened a strategic satellite office in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro to bring closer its services to more than 9,000 members in the area during simple ceremonies today (Friday, November 18) attended by top local executives and GSIS officials.

The newest GSIS satellite office is located at the Casapao Building in Lalud, Calapan City and will be manned by five personnel to provide such services as loans and claims processing, as well as providing information on members’ service records, among others.

On hand during the blessing and first operational run of the office system were Oriental Mindoro Gov. Arlan Panaligan and Calapan City Mayor Cesar Brucal, Mayor Alez Aranas of Pola town, and Bansud Mayor Butch Soller, among others. A simple reception at the Microtel Hotel in the city followed the opening ceremonies.

The GSIS officials were led by Senior Executive Vice President Roy Joseph M. Rafols, EVP for the operations sector Enriqueta P. Disuanco, Senior Vice President for field operations group (FOG) Alex M. Valencerina, FOG Area I Vice President Zenaida D. Ferrer and Atty. Lourdes C. Dorado, branch manager of GSIS Batangas which has operational jurisdiction over the Calapan satellite office.

The opening of the Calapan satellite office is in line with the program initiated by GSIS President and General Manager Winston F. Garcia to provide efficient and convenient services to all GSIS members, especially those residing or working in remote island provinces such as Mindoro. The office will cover 9,077 members in the area.

“This is a realization of our GSIS motto, ‘Kahit Saan, Kahit Kailan Maaasahan’,” Mr. Garcia said of the satellite offices program. “Now, our members need not travel far just to apply for loans or have their records verified because we have brought our frontline services closer to them.”

It is only during the time of Mr. Garcia, who was appointed GSIS chief in 2001, that the state pension fund started putting up satellite and district offices to better serve its members.

To date, there are six GSIS district offices and 11 satellite offices nationwide, including Calapan, to complement the existing network of 40 regular branch offices in key cities and municipalities. Mr. Garcia said the number of satellite offices will further increase to 18 by next year.

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