Teachers call for the creation of separate insurance amid issues with GSIS

A group of teachers is lobbying for the creation of separate insurance if reforms in the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) will not be instituted soon.

(Photo courtesy of DepEd)

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC), in a statement issued Thursday, May 19, called on the elected legislators and even the presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to pay attention to the issues surrounding the state-run pension fund.

“Initially, we will ask Congress to amend the GSIS Law and make the representation of classroom teachers integral to the GSIS Board,” TDC National Chairperson Basas said.

Basas explained that DepEd’s rank-and-file teachers and employees comprise more than half of GSIS membership, “yet we were not entitled even for one seat on its board.”

Citing the GSIS Law, Basas said that DepEd may be represented alternately by either the head of the Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA) or the Philippine Association of Schools Superintendents (PASS), both of the organizations are usually headed by DepEd officials since the enactment of the law.

Apart from having more Board representatives, the TDC also bats for the abolition of “unfair” GSIS policies and further expansion of benefits like the affordable housing program and lowering of retirement age of teachers and government employees --- among others.

For TDC, the approval of both the executive and legislative branches would be needed for these reforms. If not acted upon, the group prefers to have their “own insurance system” just like in the military and uniformed personnel.

“Better yet, we may altogether create a separate insurance system for teachers and staff of the entire public education system- including the education agencies and the government-run schools,” Basas said.

The issues with GSIS are among the top concerns of public school teachers and are included in TDC’s 13-Point Teachers’ Dignity Agenda they submitted to candidates in the last elections.

Meanwhile, Basas expressed willingness to discuss the matter with presumptive vice president Sara Duterte who agreed to take the post as DepEd Secretary should she grant the group’s request for a meeting.