Amid the coronavirus diseases 2019 (Covid-19) crisis, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go appealed to the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to ease the burden of Filipinos, especially the institution’s members and pensioners.
Go, the chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, requested GSIS to waive penalties for delayed remittances, release pensions early and grant emergency loans.
“Dahil sa community quarantine, maraming finance units ng mga ahensiya ng gobyerno ang nahihirapang gumalaw ngayon. Tulungan natin silang maibsan ang kanilang mga problema (Due to community quarantine, many of the government’s finance units are now facing difficulties to transact. Let us help them (GSIS members) to ease their problem),” Go said.
“Kung maaari din sana, i-release nang mas maaga ang mga pension. Ayon sa mga datos, mas mataas ang fatality rate ng mga matatandang nahawaan ng Covid-19. Kailangan nating tulungan ang ating mga retirees na makaiwas at makapaghanda sa sakit (If we can, release early also the pension. According to the data, elderlies infected by Covid-19 has higher fatality rate. We need to help our retirees avoid and prepare against the disease),” he added.
Go also called on the GSIS to allow its members to apply for emergency loans.
“Kahit may suweldo pa rin sila ngayon, kailangan nila ng dagdag na pondo para alagaan ang pamilya (Even if they have salaries, they still need additional funds to help their families),” he added.
Go said he personally communicated his appeal to GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Macasaet.
“Handa naman daw tumulong ang GSIS. Nagmamalasakit sila sa kanilang mga members, pensioners at beneficiaries (The GSIS is ready to help. They have concern for their members, pensioners, and beneficiaries),” Go said.
He said Macasaet confirmed that the GSIS is ready to release pensions earlier and they will not penalize agencies which might be late with their remittances.
“For emergency loans, pinag-aaralan na nila nang mabuti paano gawin, pero may pondo naman (They are studying it very carefully, but there are funds),” the Senator added.
Go had made similar appeals to other government agencies as he asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to extend the deadline for the filing of Annual Income Tax Returns. The BIR granted the appeal and is now preparing the guidelines.
He also asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide assistance to the vulnerable sectors of the society, and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to compensate contractual and job order workers during the one-month quarantine period.
The DSWD is now considering Go’s request while the DBM as well as the Commission on Audit is preparing guidelines governing the compensation for contractual government workers
“Gawin natin ang lahat ng pwede nating gawin sa panahong ito. Kailangang maging mapagmalasakit ang mga ahensiya ng ating gobyerno, at tiyakin natin na lahat ng sektor ng lipunan ay protektado. (We should do all we can in this time of crisis. Our government agencies should be compassionate and make sure that all sectors of society are protect),” Go said.
“Kailangan nating maibsan ang hirap na pinagdadaanan ng ating mga kababayan dahil sa sitwasyong ating kinakaharap ngayon (We need to ease the burden of our citizens because of the situation we are facing right now),” he added. (PNA)