GSIS keen on infrastructure investments

State-run Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has expressed interest to participate in the infrastructure program that the Marcos administration wants to pursue over the next six years.

In a briefing, Jose Arnulfo “Wick” Veloso, GSIS president and general manager, said the pension fund is willing to participate with the private sector in infrastructure development given its P104 billion investable fund.

“Infrastructure projects have long-term cash requirement, which GSIS needs for its investments. It will also help GSIS extend its actuarial life, which currently at 31-years,” Veloso told reporters.

He disclosed that GSIS is open to invest in projects that are going to be the drivers of growth in the country, such as power, telecommunications and water.

But before deploying the funds, he said the pension fund will first examine the private sector proponents of the project to ensure that members’ contributions are safe.

Moreover, the GSIS chief wanted to be part of all discussions with the private sector that relate to the government’s infrastructure push.

“We’re investors here, it could be loan, equity, or manners that will allow us to be participants in the economic activity,” Veloso said.

This is not the first time that GSIS would actively invest in infrastructure.

In 2012, GSIS invested P16.76 billion in the Philippines Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PiNai), a private equity fund that invests in infrastructure assets in the country. It also has an investment of $3.3 billion in Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund.

To date, GSIS has deployed P35 billion of the P104 billion investable fund for infrastructure.

Veloso said the pension fund’s PiNai investment will be winded down by 2024, while the Macquarie assets will gradually draw in the next six-years.

Meanwhile, Veloso also announced that the GSIS has no plan to put its real-estate assets on the auction block.

Instead, the GSIS chief said the pension fund is open to joint ventures for its 65 big-ticket land assets.

Among the large real-estate assets of GSIS are the Julio Vargas property in Ortigas, Market property in Legaspi Village in Makati, Taft Avenue property, Dumaguete City property and Baguio City property.

“We will soon release an announcement on how we can fast track to have a fair bidding for them to participate,” Veloso said.

“The bidding does not only involve price, but also the kind of project that they plan to build and how it will benefit our members,” he added.