Date Posted: March 31, 2016
State pension fund Government Service Insurance System was conferred the coveted seal of Island of Good Governance (IGG) during the Public Governance Forum held on Tuesday, March 29 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. Chairman Renato de Guzman and President and General Manager (PGM) Robert Vergara accepted the award.
The prestigious seal is an honor accorded by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) to public institutions that have transformed themselves through good governance.
To be an island of good governance, an organization must demonstrate excellence in two criteria, namely transformation or the achievement of breakthrough results that bring positive impact to the lives of its stakeholders, and sustainability or the presence of evidence that governance mechanisms contribute to the attainment of the results.
GSIS was conferred the seal based on the following merits: its exceptional service as a frontline agency as evidenced by the ‘Excellent” rating under the Anti-Red Tape Act survey conducted by the Civil Service Commission; the proactive approach to its internal and external stakeholders through its consultative, transparent, and member-focused approach to operations; and the commitment of the leadership team to transform GSIS into a premier pension fund institution and a center for providing world-class service to its stakeholders.
GSIS applied for IGG in June last year. Prior to the Revalida, the institution was subjected to a rigorous third-party validation of its breakthrough results in October 2015 conducted by two auditing firms, the Institute of Internal Auditors of the Philippines and Deloitte Philippines.
With service responsiveness as the System’s breakthrough goal, PGM Vergara recounted before a Public Revalida panel of local and global governance experts the transformative story of GSIS from being the most member-insensitive agency in the government, to become the top-rated institution in exemplary service, back-to-back in 2014 and 2015, under the Anti-Red Tape Act customer feedback survey administered by the Civil Service Commission.
He said the transformative efforts in the past five years have resulted in several breakthroughs that include enhanced collection and posting efficiencies; increased claims and benefits; a longer actuarial fund life; ISO 9001:2008 certification for quality management systems on loans processing; and unqualified opinions by the Commission on Audit on GSIS’s financial statements since 2011.
After his presentation, the pension fund chief answered questions from the panel as the final step of the evaluation that ultimately led to the conferment of the coveted IGG seal.
As the first government financial institution to receive the award, GSIS joins an elite group of IGG awardees that include Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry, National Electrification Administration, Philippine Army, Philippine Heart Center, Philippine Navy as well as the local government units of Balanga, Bataan, Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte, Talisay, Negros Occidental, Mandaue, Cebu, and Butuan, Agusan del Norte.
PGM Vergara said that to sustain the breakthrough results, the “biggest guarantee to stay the course is to make sure our members have a voice… to give them access to information so they can make reasonable judgments about what is going on in the institution.”
ISA is a non-partisan, non-profit governance reform institute that advocates transformative and sustainable governance in the Philippine public sector.