#AngBagongPIA


PIA News Service - Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010

TUCP celebrates 35th founding anniversary

Manila (December 14) – With its theme “Green Jobs and Decent Work for Sustainable and Inclusive Development,” the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will celebrate its 35th Founding Anniversary on December 14, 2010 in Quezon City.

To give meaning to the celebration, a holy mass will be celebrated at 7:00 o’clock in the morning at the TUCP Solidarity Hall which will be graced by some one hundred (100) delegates composed of top-level TUCP leaders, officials of affiliate federations, government and partners. Right after the mass, a solidarity brunch will follow.

TUCP Director for Education Rafael Mapalo, in an interview with PIA, said all the guests will also be invited to a tree planting ceremony as one of the highlights to the celebration at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife (NAPWL) in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and NAPWL’s administration.

Mapalo said a total of 70 seedlings will be planted, “2 trees each of the 35 years of TUCP existence.”

“These trees should be visited by respective federation representative(s) regularly to ensure that they live and grow,” he added.

The symbolic act will represent TUCP and its affiliates’ commitment in mitigating climate change and promoting workers’ awareness on the protection of the environment. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Equipment grant - an answered prayer to San Jose CeC

Among the nine DOTC-CICT CeC that has been put up in Caraga Region, San Jose stands firm and tall at being the lone CeC located in the island of Dinagat. Distance has never been a problem for the CeC to keep abreast when it comes to matters of information and communications technology (ICT). Upon learning of the Strengthening CeC Grants being offered by Philippine CeC Program, San Jose CeC applied right away for the Equipment Grant in hopes of gaining a projector for the CeC.

After months of waiting for the results, San Jose CeC was one of the applicants chosen to receive an equipment grant. San Jose Mayor Alan B. Ecleo could hardly contain his happiness upon hearing the news; the projector was badly needed in San Jose. For Mayor Ecleo, the grand came like an answered prayer. 

"In behalf of the LGU and CeC San Jose, we would like to thank the PhilCeCNet, the National Computer Center (NCC) and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) for their unwavering support to improve the services of CeCs like ours, always making us a part of the IT developments," said a grateful Jurie S. Mancia, the CeC alternate manager for San Jose. 
.
As the only projector in the whole town, the projector of the San Jose CeC is expected to serve not only CeC clients but the offices and schools in the area, gaining additional income for the CeC along the way. The projector has already been used during the Early Child Care and Development (ECCD) Budget Hearing, an indication that San Jose is putting to good use the gift they have received. (Melody Cocon, National Computer Center - Field Operations Office/PIA-Caraga)


Gov’t pension fund chiefs vow to restore trust, regain members’ confidence

“We will earn it one day at a time” 

“We envision GSIS to become the most service-focused agency in government – providing not just any kind of service, but responsive service.”

This was the message of Robert Vergara, President and General Manager of the Government Service Insurance System, as he spoke Tuesday before the officials of the Department of Education-National Employees’ Union (DepEd-NEU), the country’s largest union of non-teaching personnel, in a forum held in Tagaytay City.

Vergara said the pension fund is working to improve its service delivery to all stakeholders especially teachers, who account for more than half of its membership base. 

He added, “in compliance with the marching order given by the President in his first 100 Days, the new administration will prioritize resolving the various problems of the teaching and non-teaching personnel of the Education Department.” 

The chief of the pension fund cited some of the measures being carried out by the agency to attain service-responsiveness:

1. Reduced the number of members’ unposted payments and unreconciled account balances from P30 billion in September to P3.8 billion as of 2 November 2010. 

2. Improved access to GSIS services by tapping the Land Bank of the Philippines as additional depository bank to expand services for members and deploying more GW@Ps kiosks. By the first quarter of 2011, Land Bank will start servicing pensioners and gradually expand its services to include all GSIS members. At the same time, GSIS will deploy additional 500 GW@Ps Kiosks in line with the enrollment of members and pensioners to the Unified Multipurpose Identification (UMID) - compliant eCard.

“No Secrets”
 
For his part, Daniel Lacson, Jr., Board Chairman, said the new GSIS Board will be consultative, transparent and service-focused. “We will engage our stakeholders wherever they are and we will always consult them. In whatever we do, there will be no secrets and we will ensure we can defend in Plaza Miranda, any new policy, the Management and the Board will implement.”  

Lacson added GSIS is undertaking a comprehensive review of all the reform measures implemented in the past and evaluating their impact to the stakeholders. “ We have asked the different GSIS offices to tell us the history of these reforms so we can understand the reasons behind them.”

Vergara pointed out the review is all about “restoring the heart and the spirit of RA 8291 (Revised Government Service Insurance Act of 1997) which is to provide the basic social safety net to look after us in our old age.”

The Union presented a total of 21 national issues related to the GSIS’s policies and programs, which included the Premium-based policy, the Claims and Loans Interdependency Policy, and the recent move of the GSIS to put qualifications on the entitlement to survivorship pension. These policies, the Union said should be scrapped in the interest of all GSIS members and pensioners. 

Vergara committed that even as Management is finding the solutions to these concerns, their implementation will take some time. “So I ask for your patience and understanding.”

He vowed GSIS “will work tirelessly to regain your confidence and trust. And we will do this the only way I know: we will earn it one day at a time.”

DepED-NEU and GSIS Cooperation 

Atty. Domingo Alidon, national president of the DepED-NEU, said the presence of both the Chairman and PGM to the Forum, ushers a new era of cooperation between the GSIS and the Union. “This is the first time that we hear GSIS officials facing our issues squarely. Gone are the days that we fight GSIS and take our issues to the streets.” 

The DepED-NEU pledged its full support to the new GSIS member-friendly administration. “Nakahanda ang unyon na makipagtulungan sa bagong pamunuan ng GSIS para makahanap ng solusyon sa mga problemang idinulog namin sa kanila. Mag-sasagawa ang unyon ng regular na konsultasyon kasama ang GSIS.” (GSIS/PIA-Caraga)


GSIS taps Land Bank as additional bank for pensioners, members

The GSIS yesterday signed a Memorandum of Agreement with government-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) as an additional servicing bank for its old age and survivorship pensioners. 

Through the Agreement, pensioners will now be able to take advantage of Land Bank’s extensive branch network nationwide.

“This measure will now make it easier for our members and pensioners, especially in the provinces, to access their benefits and other loans,” said Robert Vergara, President and General Manager.

The GSIS will pilot test the selection of Land Bank as an additional servicing bank in January next year, to nearly 14,000 pensioners covered by the GSIS Batangas Regional Offices and other GSIS servicing offices under its jurisdiction such as the Lucena Branch Office and its Satellite Offices in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro; and Boac, Marinduque.

Under the agreement, Land Bank will open a savings account and provide automated teller machine services to GSIS pensioners.

The inclusion of pensioners in other areas and members as a whole in this program will be determined after the pilot test phase.

“By March next year, we project that the rest of our pensioners will be able to use Land Bank’s facility; all employees at the GSIS Head Office by May; and all active members by July,” Vergara said.

Pensioners will have to pick up their Land Bank ATM cards from the designated Land Bank branch; ATM cards of non-ambulatory pensioners will be delivered by Land Bank personnel.

They can also use their Land Bank ATM card to withdraw their monthly or accrued pension benefits as well as pension loan proceeds from the nearest Land Bank ATM, free of transaction fee.

Those who choose to keep their existing savings account with the Union Bank of the Philippines can still use the GSIS eCard to withdraw the same from the nearest Union Bank ATM.

Both the Land Bank and Union Bank ATM cards may be used in any of the Megalink, Bancnet and Expressnet networks. 

Regardless of whether pensioners choose Land Bank or Union Bank, they must still keep their GSIS eCard (eCard Plus or the Unified Multipurpose ID or UMID-compliant eCard) as this still retains its full features as an official GSIS ID, transactional and debit card (in Megalink-accredited commercial establishments), as well as avail themselves of the following discounts:
 
Up to 30-percent hospitalization discount from select GSIS partner-partner hospitals under the GSIS Hospitalization Support Program; up to 55-percent discount in select Pfizer medicines from leading drugstores; 20-percent college tuition and miscellaneous discounts from any STI school; and 20-percent discount on top of the prevailing promo fares of Superferry, Supercat, and Cebu Ferries.

The GSIS eCard can likewise be used to comply with the annual renewal of active status requirement of the GSIS, to ensure continued receipt of their monthly pension.

They do this by placing the eCard on the card reader of the GSIS Wireless Automated Processing System (GW@PS) kiosk, found in all GSIS offices and other government offices nationwide, and then selecting the appropriate menu on the kiosk’s touch screen. 

Meanwhile, pensioners living abroad will continue to use their GSIS eCard to withdraw their monthly pension benefits or pension loan proceeds from any ATM abroad under the VISA PLUS network.
(GSIS/PIA-Caraga)


Tagalog News: MOA Nilagdaan ng GSIS, Land Bank 

Nilagdaan kahapon ng Government Service Insurance System at Land Bank of the Philippines ang isang kasundaan kung saan ang Land Bank ay magiging karagdagang servicing bank para sa old-age at survivorship pensioners ng GSIS.

Bilang isangalternatibong depository bank, di na magtatagal at seserbisyuhan na rin ng lahat ng sangay ng Landbank ang may 290,000 na pensyonado ng GSIS, partikular na ang pamamahagi ng kanilang buwanang benepisyo. 

Para masiguro magiging maayos ang bagong sistema ng pagpili ng servicing bank ng mga pensyonado, ipa-pilot test muna ito ng GSIS sa may 13,942 old-age at survivorship pensioners na sakop ng GSIS Batangas Regional Office.

Bahagi ng nasabing GSIS office ang mga pensyonadong sineserbisyuhan ng Lucena Branch Office, pati na rin ang GSIS Satellite Offices sa Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro; Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro; at Boac, Marinduque. 

Ayon sa pinirmahang MOA, gagawan ng Landbank ng savings account na may kasamang ATM card ang mga pensyonadong gagamit ng kanilang serbisyo. Dito ipapasok ng GSIS ang buwanang benepisyo ng mga nasabing pensyonado.

Kapag nagawan na ng account, kukunin na lamang ng mga GSIS pensioners ang kanilang ATM cards sa pinakamalapit na sangay ng Landbank. Ipapadala naman ng Landbank ang ATM cards ng mga pensioner na di na makabyahe.

Kapag naging maayos ang pilot testing, magkakaroon din ng ganitong sistema ng pagpili ng bangko hindi lamang ang lahat ng mga GSIS pensioner, kundi pati na rin ang lahat ng GSIS members sa buong bansa. (GSIS/PIA-Caraga)


30IB launches MEDCAP, Grand Pulong-Pulong

By Susil Ragas
  
Surigao City (December 14) - The 30th Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Division, Philippine Army successfully launched its series of Medical, Dental and Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) and Grand Pulong-Pulong Program on Monday, Dec. 13, 2010 at Brgy. Mapawa, this city.

According to LtC Erwin Rommel P. Lamzon, Commanding Officer of the 30IB, the launching of the said program is in line with its Peace Initiatives Program in the different barangays of Surigao del Norte in close coordination with the local chief executives, barangay health workers and city health personnel.

Around 200 Surigaonons from the barangays of Silop, Capalayan and Mapawa all in Surigao City have availed the services.

Lamzon also revealed that they are now scheduled to visit Brgy. Ima in Sison on Tuesday, December 14 for another round of MEDCAP activity. On December 15, they will visit the clustered barangays of Sukailang, Anomar, Mat-I and Trinidad all in Surigao City. 

For Malimono town, Lamzon said they are scheduled at the barangays of Tinago, Hanagdong, Cansayong, Masgad, Cantapoy and Bunyasan on December 16 while on December 17 they will be in Brgy. Cantugas, Mainit and December 20 in Brgy. Gacepan, Sison.

On the other hand, the Grand Pulong-pulong was successfully conducted simultaneously last December 11 to the following barangays: Brgy. Cantugas, Mainit; Brgy. Gacepan and Ima in Sison; Brgy. Cantapoy, Malimono; Brgy. Capalayan, Surigao City. 

Last December 12, they went to Brgy. Tinago, Malimono and Brgy. Silop, Surigao City. 

Another simultaneous Grand Pulong-pulong activity is scheduled on December 18 at the barangays of Mat-I and Trinidad in Surigao City and Cansayong and Bunyasan in Malimono. December 19 at Brgy. Masgad, Malimono and December 20 at Brgy. Mapawa, Surigao City.

The purpose of the series of dialogues according to Lamzon is to enhance the residents’ awareness on AFP's role on peace, security and development in their respective barangays. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)