By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Heeding the appeal of the Department of Education (DepEd), the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) announced today a one-month extension for all its members to settle their past due loan accounts.
GSIS, in a statement posted on its website, noted that the deadline for all GSIS members to settle past due loan accounts to one more month or until Oct. 31, 2018 has been extended after the appeal from the DepEd.
“We extended the deadline to give more time for DepEd employees as well as other members with overdue accounts to benefit from the condoned penalties and surcharges of the Enhanced Consolidated Loan Program,” said GSIS President and General Manager Jesus Clint Aranas.
Meanwhile, Aranas said that GSIS is also “advocating responsible borrowing by rewarding members who have good credit standing” thus, members with updated loan accounts as of September 30, 2018 “will get a chance to win big prizes to be raffled off soon.”
Earlier, Education Secretary Leonor Briones has written to the GSIS appealing for the extension of the Sept. 30, 2018 deadline to Dec. 31, 2018 for all member-borrowers to update and settle their past due accounts such that penalties and surcharges on their past due loans may be waived.
In addition, DepEd has requested the GSIS for condonation of compounded accrued interest on past due loans. This came after teachers have reported problems of undeducted GSIS loans that reportedly resulted in the imposition of penalties, surcharges, and compounded accrued interest.
Aranas said that the GSIS appreciates the “conscious efforts” of DepEd to “assist us in addressing their [teachers’] predicament.” He added that Briones’s letter and request for an extension of the deadline made GSIS “fully understand the plight of members.”
Currently, Aranas said that GSIS “does not impose penalties and surcharges for delinquent loan accounts of members in the active service.” However, he noted that the pension fund “will lift this ‘automatic waiver’ for penalties and surcharges by Nov. 1, 2018 to step up its call for members’ responsible borrowing, while stressing the rewards of paying loans on time.”
Aranas noted that although GSIS has given a one-month extension, it remains “steadfast in reminding our members that slacking on loan payments may cost you your entire benefits in the future.” He added that if the loan balances of members “go unchecked for a longer period, your obligations will continue to add up, which may severely impair the benefits due you or your family in due course.”