By Chino S. Leyco
State-pension Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) said yesterday that it will again release pensions ahead of schedule this month to help pensioners cope with the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.
In a statement, Rolando Ledesma Macasaet, GSIS president and general manager, said yesterday that pensioners will receive their pension on May 5, instead of the usual crediting date of every eighth of the month.
Macasaet said the early release of pension is one of several proactive measures GSIS is taking to help its pensioners cope with the extended ECQ period.
GSIS releases monthly pensions electronically through the pensioners’ Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) card or temporary electronic card (eCard), which are issued by either the Land Bank of the Philippines or the UnionBank of the Philippines.
Pensioners may withdraw the cash from the nearest automated teller machine (ATM).
“We have earmarked a budget of P6.1 billion for our 511,000 pensioners,” the pension fund chief said.
To further protect pensioners from the virus and ensure their safety, GSIS introduced the online activation of pensioners’ status early this month.
Under normal situations, GSIS requires all old-age and survivorship pensioners to report to the nearest GSIS office or GSIS kiosk during their birth month to ensure the continued receipt of their pension under the Annual Pensioners’ Information Revalidation or APIR.
“Now, pensioners only need to send us a letter-request to activate their status and a photo of them either holding a newspaper or standing beside a TV screen showing the current date,” Macasaet pointed out.
GSIS also granted a moratorium on loans of pensioners due for the months of March, April and May 2020 without penalty or additional interest. All loan terms, as a result of the moratorium, were effectively extended by three months.
“We hope that this 90-day grace period will give them some financial relief amid these trying times,” the GSIS chief stated.