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For 87 years, government-owned corporation Government Service Insur-ance System (GSIS) has played a crucial role in offering extensive insurance and social security to public servants.

GSIS started out in 1937 with life insurance program as its only business, and it later expanded its services to include old-wage, invalidity disability, and survivorship benefits as it transformed into a more comprehensive social insurance service in 1951.

To strengthen social security among government workers, various important laws were passed, one of which is Republic Act (RA) 8291, also known as the Government Insurance Act of 1997, which provides insurance coverage, oversees compensations programs for employees, and provides benefits for injuries, disabilities, and death in the public sector.

Among these programs include the Employees’ Compensation Program, which offers social security benefits for government employees with work-related incidents and General Insurance Fund that provides insurance coverage for all government properties.

GSIS is essential in providing social security, managing funds prudently, enhancing non-life insurance coverage, maintaining quality corporate governance practices, and cultivating partnerships.

As of 2024, GSIS boasts 2,610,338 members and pensioners. Among them are 2,034,319 active members and 576,019 old-age and survivorship pensioners, underscoring the significant impact of the department in the public sector. Moreover, in December 2023, GSIS recorded P1.699 trillion in assets.

By 2028, the institution envisions becoming a world-class pension and insurance institution, leveraging digital platforms to deliver excellent customer experience and supporting the country’s journey to a better tomorrow.

According to a recent report, GSIS saw an impressive performance within the first quarter of 2024. The institution witnessed a significant rise in net income (21%); revenues (17%), totaling to P85 billion in the first quarter; and global investments (45%) on a year-on-year basis.

“Our commitment to support the nation’s growth story saw increases in GSIS investments in key sectors such as real estate, infrastructure, food, energy and mining. Further, the GSIS is boosting revenue streams as it focuses on building efficiencies in its various businesses,” GSIS President and General Manager Jose Arnulfo “Wick” A. Veloso said.

“GSIS would like to be a catalyst supporting investments in various sectors to bring down the cost of power and allow vertical integration for mining companies to process raw materials into intermediate and finished products,” he added.

To further strengthen its services, GSIS revealed new developments on its services. Among these developments are affordable housing programs, low-interest loan options, and added features on the GSIS Mobile Touch app. The main goal of these initiatives is to address financial and housing needs, while simultaneously improving government services.

Further continuing excellency on its services, GSIS saw a 12% increase in insurance premiums during the first quarter, growing from P2.65 billion to P2.98 billion.

“The sustained momentum of the performance of GSIS has proven to be a catalyst of the economic development of the Philippines through supporting both the public and the private sectors.”

“GSIS is aggressively campaigning for the protection of all government insurable assets and interests. We protect the government’s budget and individual programs against unexpected insurable losses such as fire, earthquakes and typhoons. And more importantly, we are able to pool long-term funds and put them in investments to help grow the overall economy,” he added.

Digitalizing services

Another recent development is its significant progress in digitalizing their services, specifically with the GSIS Mobile Touch app. This app serves as a digital platform for members and pensioners to conveniently access information and services. It offers features like checking records, loan and insurance applications, and more.

“As a government agency that is at the forefront of innovation, we are proud to have been able to launch the Touch Mobile App that is accessible by hundreds and thousands of our members,” Juan Philip S. Evangelista, senior vice-president for Information Technology and Service Group of GSIS, said in another statement last year. “We look forward to seeing the app become the next major communication and transaction channel of GSIS, allowing more Filipinos to have seamless access to our services without traveling to the GSIS branches or agency offices in the country.”

Recently, GSIS unveiled a new feature called facial recognition, which allows elders and disabled pensioners to complete their annual proof-of-life (APIR) using smartphones. This saves them the trouble in physically visiting the GSIS branches for APIR processes.

In an article released by GSIS, in response to protect pensioners and ensure safety from the dangers of extreme heat, GSIS encourages pensioners to use and maximize its online services.

“Our pensioners are among the most vulnerable during these extreme weather conditions. By enhancing access to our online services, we ensure they can fulfill their requirements without compromising their health,” Mr. Veloso said.

More recently, GSIS has launched the Property Inventory Application (PIA). In efforts to enhance the management and insurance of state assets, particularly government infrastructure, this internally-developed app aims to fast-track the submission of annual property inventory forms and thus help solve the problem of incomplete or erroneous data arising from manual processes.

“With PIA, we are not just making it easier to manage property records, we’re also enhancing how we assist government agencies in protecting their assets through insurance. It’s a major step towards strengthening our country’s infrastructure,” Mr. Veloso was quoted as saying in a BusinessWorld report last May 20.

Stronger connections

Meanwhile, for partnerships, GSIS is working with the Philippine Government Employees Association (PGEA) for better work and social welfare for government employees across the country.

“We are committed to improve our services to government workers. This collaboration with the PGEA plays a crucial role in keeping workers aligned with the latest developments and services of GSIS throughout the bureaucracy. PGEA provides us very good feedback,” Mr. Veloso said.

Sharing the same sentiment, Esperanza Ocampo, national president of PGEA, pressed the importance of such partnership.

“The foundation of our partnership with GSIS is transparent and effective communication through continuous dialogue and participative engagement,” she said. “Thus, ensuring that members and retirees receive maximum benefits from their contributions through efficient management of the pension fund.” — Angela Kiara S. Brillantes