Alliance of Concerned Teachers

PRESS STATEMENT
July 10, 2010
Reference: Ms. France Castro
Secretary General, ACT
09178502124

What is taking P-Noy so long to remove GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia?

This is the million dollar question of the 30,000 strong members nationwide of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) to the new president .

It is more than a week now since President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III took his oath as the 15th Philippine president. So far, teachers and government employees have not yet heard anything from PNoy, not even a single word, about the burning issues of oppressive and exploitative policies of the GSIS headed by Winston Garcia.

We ask P-Noy: Why is there no quick and decisive action, when the funds involved came from the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of teachers and government employees, and you still ask us for more patience? But, when the funds involved were from gambling (which is considered as a “sin money”) of the PAGCOR, you immediately put your classmate from Ateneo as at the PAGCOR helm.

For almost a decade, teachers and government employees bear the burden and have suffered from the unjust policies imposed by politically-influential GSIS President and General Manager Winston Garcia.

Under the administration of Garcia, who is a staunch supporter of the Arroyo administration, the GSIS deprived us of benefits to which we are entitled. We are burdened with huge deductions on the maturity of our GSIS insurance policy; of being charged with unexplained premiums in arrears; of not receiving annual dividends from GSIS; of being denied survivorship benefits; of GSIS’ failure to deduct loan payments resulting in huge interests on loans; and the huge deductions on the retirement benefits suffered by retired teachers and employees.

The Arroyo-Garcia tandem is at the root of our problems with the GSIS and we demand the new administration to remove Garcia immediately from GSIS, and appoint a pro-teacher and pro-employee as GSIS President and General manager. And if P-Noy is still in the process of selecting who will head the GSIS, we strongly urge him to appoint an Officer-in-Charge who will immediately replace Garcia.

We also demand P-Noy to immediately order the refund of all unwarranted deductions made by GSIS against the members’ benefits. We also call for the immediate scrapping of the Premium-Based Policy, the Claims and Loans Interdependency Program (CLIP), and other policies introduced by Garcia which have deprived GSIS members of the full enjoyment of benefits to which they are entitled. We demand for the implementation of genuine reforms that will strengthen the role of GSIS as the social security fund of all government employees. Furthermore, since majority of the GSIS funds came from the teachers and education workers, they should have genuine representation in the decision-making body of the GSIS, to ensure that their welfare and benefits will be protected and prioritized.

We also demand that Garcia be made accountable for his violations of the key provisions of the GSIS law, and for the sufferings of teachers and government employees. Administrative, criminal and civil charges should be immediately filed against him.

Teachers and government employees want Garcia to be removed from GSIS NOW! Not tomorrow! Not next week! Not next, next week!

We want Garcia out of GSIS NOW!