Gov't agencies owe GSIS P8-B unpaid premiums

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 25 2014 03:15 AM | Updated as of Mar 25 2014 11:15 AM

MANILA, Philippines - State agencies and offices owe the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) more than P8 billion, depriving members of needed funds for retirement claims and other benefits, a Commission on Audit (COA) report said.

In a memorandum dated March 10, COA also said officials concerned should be held liable for possible violation of the law on the remittance of contributions to GSIS.

Unpaid contributions totaled P8.256 billion as of Dec. 31, 2012. Required to remit contributions to GSIS are government offices above the municipality level.

COA Chairman Ma. Gracia Pulido-Tan has directed all directors, supervising auditors and audit team leaders to focus on the problem in their regular annual audits.

Tan said the uncollected amount is supposed to finance GSIS’s Social Insurance Fund (SIF) and Employees Compensation Fund (ECIF).

Tan said the oversight is “depriving the GSIS of resources to invest and fund the retirement claims and other benefits of its members.”

In her order, she instructed state auditors to “include in their audit focus the determination of compliance of all responsible government officials on the proper deductions of GSIS premiums from the salaries of employees and the timely remittances of SIF and ECIF premiums to the GSIS in accordance with (the law).”

Tan said audit teams should monitor compliance with Republic Act 8291 or the GSIS Act.

“They shall include in the AAR (annual audit report) related observations and recommendations, if any, so that appropriate penal sanctions may be imposed upon the responsible officials and employees in case of violation of pertinent provisions,” her memorandum read.

Tan has been issuing orders aimed at making COA more effective in monitoring the use of public funds.

She also recently issued a memorandum ordering all assistant commissioners, directors, supervising auditors, and audit team leaders to monitor compliance with their recommendations to make sure such are not simply ignored.

COA, under Tan, has come up an Agency Action Plan Status Implementation form to make sure government agencies and offices take audit findings seriously and act accordingly.

“Recent events have revealed a heightened awareness of the observations and recommendations contained in AARs as well as of an urgent need of the public to be kept abreast of what is done to implement them,” Tan said.