State pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) recently reported that 95% of its workers nationwide have already been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“As of November 2021, a total of 4,361 of 4,581 GSIS personnel,, including job order personnel, utility workers, and security guards, have been inoculated,” GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet reported.
“Prayoridad ng GSIS ang kaligtasan ng empleyado. Kaya naman nagpapasalamat tayo na kabilang ang state workers sa Priority Group A4 ng COVID-19 Immunization Program ng ating gobyerno. We were able to book vaccinations for our employees with the local government units across the country,” Macasaet added.
Under the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 117 series of 2021, Priority Group A4 covers government employees and workers in the private and informal sectors who are physically reporting to their workplace.
The state pension fund has always been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. Just recently, GSIS was recognized by the ASEAN Social Security Association for its strategic communication program amid the pandemic. It also reaped a Silver Anvil and three Quill awards in February and March 2021 for its COVID-19 related communication initiatives. In September 2020, it was the only government agency in the world to win the prestigious Gold Stevie award for having the “Most Valuable Government Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
As soon as GSIS opened its door to the public after the quarantine restrictions were lifted in 2020, it has been strictly implementing safety protocols to minimize the risk of exposure of its employees, clients and visitors to COVID-19. It has installed computer systems that automatically counts people inside the building and adopted the official government contact tracing app StaySafe.ph. Handwashing stations were likewise set up at GSIS offices’ entrance. Employees and guests are also required to wear face masks and face shields inside the office premises at all times.
In addition, GSIS has implemented contactless methods of accepting applications for loans, claims and benefits to respond to emerging client needs under the new normal. For pensioners complying with the Annual Pensioners Information Revalidation (APIR), appointments may be arranged through text messages (SMS) or email for interviews via Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and Viber.
Moreover, GSIS carried out the Bayanihan Fund for Frontliners program which provides families of government frontliners additional P500,000 in insurance benefit on top of their existing death and funeral benefits. GSIS has also adopted Local Isolation and General Treatment Areas for COVID-19 cases (LIGTAS COVID) centers in coordination with Department of Health and the Department of the Interior and Local Government. Under the LIGTAS COVID program, the pension fund grants financial assistance for the purchase of vaccines, patient care equipment, hygiene kits, handwashing facilities, oxygen support and maintenance, medication, and other requirements.