The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) today said it will resume the payment of monthly retirement and pension benefits of more than 1,500 pensioners affected by the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001”.
This developed after the release of an En Banc Decision of the Supreme Court on the case of Enrique U. Betoy vs. The Board of Directors, National Power Corporation (04 October 2011, G.R. Nos. 156556-57) and a letter from the Commission on Audit lifting its previous notice of disallowance, which remove any legal impediment to the payment by the pension fund of these benefits.
“We will pay the concerned retirees the accrued amounts covering the period May to October 2011 by Monday, October 17 and we will also resume payment of their regular pension starting November 8,” GSIS President and General Manager Robert G. Vergara said.
Vergara further said the pension fund will accrue about Php147.6 million representing pension benefits that were put on hold by the GSIS since May this year.
To recall, the GSIS was compelled in May, to suspend the payment of retirement and pension benefits in compliance with a 2008 Supreme Court decision — the Herrera et al case — which ruled that more than 8,000 retirees under the EPIRA could not be entitled to benefits arising from the EPIRA and the GSIS Charter.
The Commission on Audit subsequently came out with a notice of disallowance a few months ago in support of the 2008 Court ruling.
In a dialogue before the retirees held in July at the GSIS, Vergara committed to have the pensions released immediately if the legal restriction is addressed.
For any question on the release of pension and retirement benefits, affected retirees and pensioners can call the Office of the Senior Vice President for Northern Luzon and Central Office through Mr. Frederick Javillo, (02) 976.4689 and (02) 859.0383.