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PPA doles out GSIS property to social housing without pension fund’s permission

Date Posted: March 27, 2019

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) allocated a property of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) at the Manila North Harbor to social housing without the knowledge and consent of GSIS.

PPA executed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Housing Authority(NHA), City of Manila, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and Manila North Harbor Port Inc. covering the entire area of a 5-hectare land as the resettlement site of the informal settlers along Isla Puting Bato and its surrounding areas without indicating nor disclosing that the GSIS owned approximately 1.2 hectares of the property.

“GSIS supports the government’s social housing program but it has to be done within the purview of the law. The property is registered under the name of the pension fund. PPA cannot commit a property that it does not own,” Aranas stressed.

In a letter to PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago, Aranas demanded that PPA rescind, modify or revise the MOU to exclude the portion of land owned by GSIS. He added that if the MOU will not be rectified, the pension fund would be constrained to file the appropriate legal action to protect the interest of GSIS and its members.

Santiago, in its reply to Aranas, questioned the validity of the GSIS title.

“The title speaks for itself. PPA’s argument questioning the validity of GSIS’s original certificate of title is a collateral attack not allowed by law. GSIS’s title may only be questioned in a direct attack filed before a regular court. This has already been ruled upon by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel in 2015,” Aranas stressed.

The pension fund chief said that from the very start, GSIS was made to understand that its property will not be included in the land committed by PPA as resettlement site of informal settlers along Isla Puting Bato and its surrounding areas. According to him, it has long been established that the five-hectare land assigned for social housing partly covers the GSIS property. This had been discussed repeatedly in the interagency committee meetings on the disposition of the Parola Estate where PPA, GSIS, the National Housing Authority and other government agencies sit as members. In fact, in one of said meetings, NHA confirmed the overlapping of the properties based on its ocular inspection. The overlapping parcel of the lot is owned and registered under the name of GSIS under TCT No.272972 with a land area of 109,212 sq. meters.