Wednesday, March 30, 2005

NR0330: GSIS cancels housing contracts

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 30, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Hundreds of thousands of GSIS members being evicted from their homes as GSIS cancels en masse Deeds of Conditional Sales beginning March 31- Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that hundreds of thousands of government employees including public school teachers, non-academic staff and hospital staff will be rendered homeless in the coming months as the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) led by its president and General manager Winston Garcia steps up the implementation of Board resolution No. 48 approving the policy and implementing guidelines of cancelled Deeds of Conditional Sales (DCS).

The GSIS is currently conducting a NATIONWIDE inventory and physical assessment of all cancelled housing loan accounts covered by a DCS. Houses in private subdivisions that have tie-ups with the GSI and its housing program are being spray-painted in green and red paint with the words "Foreclosed" and "Contract Cancelled."

"The GSIS is on the rampage collecting the arrearages on cancelled housing loans covered by DCS -- even as I speak, the GSIS is serving notices of cancellation to thousands of GSIS members who have been hoodwinked into availing of the GSIS' chaotic housing loan program," he said.

800 teachers in danger of losing their homes, pensions

Beltran stated as a case in point the brewing revolt in the teachers' community in Tarlac. Around 800 to 900 residents of Teresa Homes, Tibag, Tarlac City in the province of Tarlac are protesting against what they term as the inhumane, unjust and anomalous changes in the GSIS housing program policy. The residents are comprised mostly of teachers from the Villa Aglibay Central Elementary School and the Tarlac National High School, as well as employees of various government agencies in the region.

A low-cost housing project of the GSIS in Brgy. Tibag, Tarlac City has been put in 1997 supposedly to serve the housing needs of the government employees in the area. The Teresa Homes Housing Project was a joint project of the JQG Homes Development Corp., a private business owned by Jose Q. De Guzman and the GSIS in 1997. It was projected to be a housing project which was included in the Low-Cost Housing Program of the GSIS, to help it members avail of the government's program for mass housing.

The housing units were classified as 1. Single Attached (costing P279,000.00 with a monthly amortization of P4,100.00); 2. Single Detached (costing P402,000.000 with a monthly amortization of P6,100,00); 3. Duplex (costing P184,200 with a monthly amortization of P2,210.71. 00) all payable in 15 and/or 25 years.

"There are documents to prove that the he obligations of the residents when they signed the agreements for the housing units amounted to only P300,000 in 1997; now, eight years later, because of infamous changes in the policies of the GSIS geared towards profiteering, their outstanding balances are greater than the original obligations. The residents were appalled and shocked that their debts to the GSIS which are being paid for in the form of salary deductions and deductions from their respective pensions have increased exponentially," he said.

Beltran said that many of the residents are of retirement age or nearing retirement and it's their fear that because of the unexplained increase in their dues to the GSIS they will lose not only their homes, but their pensions as well.

"Residents are now afraid that they will be ejected from their houses by the GSIS due to whopping outstanding balances of almost P1 million pesos which only include interests and penalties and with arrearages not less than hundreds of thousands. The bills for their housing units continue to increase and do not seem to decrease. Teresa residents are being threatened by the agents of the GSIS that they will be ejected from their houses and the houses foreclosed due to the same reasons: outstanding balances amounting to more than half a million as the lowest amount, and more than a million as the highest.
These figures include penalties and interests and arrears of more than hundreds of thousands," he said. "Even if they avail of early retirement or apply for new loans, these will not be enough to offset their obligations but only worsen their indebtedness."

The activist solon said denounced the GSIS' policy of mass cancellation of housing loans and DCSs. "GSIS members have not been informed of the changes in policies and the increases in the arrearages. They have caught by terrible surprise-- finding out that they owe almost a million to the GSIS when they only signed contract for a house that costs P400,000," he said.

Beltran renewed his attack on Garcia saying that the latter on November 4, 2003, applied for a housing loan amounting to PhP12 million under the GSIS-Bahay ko Program. Two days later, the amount of PhP11 million was approved. The housing loan was for the purpose of financing the purchase of a house and lot located at Lot 28, Block 1, Juan Luna Street, San Lorenzo Village, Makati City;

"It takes ordinary GSIS members at least one week before they could avail of loans far lower than the amount applied for by Garcia. In the case of Garcia, his PhP11 million loan was released in just two days, thus refuting his statement that he was "treated like an ordinary GSIS member."

Another document shows that on June 2003, Garcia filed a loan worth PhP2,141,874.00 with a monthly amortization of PhP56,414.07 . However, the same document reveals that for three months, Garcia is paying only the amount of P43,123.06 per month. Out of the P169,242.21 supposed partial payment for the first three months, Garcia has paid only P129,369.18."

GSIS Painting Competition

In the meantime, Beltran slammed Garcia's latest publicity gimmick to cover up his tracks and clean the tarnished image of the GSIS. Garcia has spearheaded the GSIS second Painting Competition which offers P1.5 million in prizes.

The theme of the competition is "Pista sa Pasinaya, celebrating the Filipino," supposedly to portray the country's "rich cultural heritage." Garcia has been quoted as saying that the competition "is meant to capture the spirit of the Philippines' diverse expressions of memorializing achievement, religion, harvest , prosperity, marriage, friendship and peace settlement."

"Garcia is projecting himself as a patron of the arts, but he is using government employees' hard-earned funds. Again, why is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo keeping Garcia? There are already a million and one reasons why he should be sacked. His transgressions and abuses are countless, yet he remains a Malacanang favorite. Pres.Arroyo has not done a single thing to correct Garcia. T his strengthens allegations that her administration is dependent on Garcia and his skills of corruption." He said.#


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