by Allan Yves Briones
The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) is left without a president and general manager after Jesus Clint Aranas resigned Tuesday. Aranas left amidst controversy regarding P260.5 million of alleged “illegal incentives” within the state-run pension fund, as detailed in a report by the Commission on Audit (COA).
In its 2018 report, state auditors said that the fund’s GSIS Galing ng Pagkilala Incentive – P100,000 each for its 2,615 employees – was without the approval of the President and the budget department, and as such, is to be considered “illegal expenditure” and “erroneous computation of incentives” disallowed in audit.
The state auditors then recommended two courses of action for the pension fund: secure the requisite recommendations and approval from the President and the budget department, or refund the incentives.
In the same report, GSIS management “invoked that they were in good faith.” They also expressed their firm disagreement “to refund the incentives already given in…2018 and prior years.”
However, they agreed “to review the provisions pertaining to Pagkilala Incentive” and strictly comply with the state auditors’ findings on the proper computation of savings to be considered as basis for incentive grants.
In a letter tendering his resignation to President Rodrigo Duterte, Aranas maintained that he has done nothing to compromise his integrity.
“I resign secure in the knowledge that I have unwaveringly advanced the interest of GSIS and its members in discharging the functions of the said office always in obeisance to all the laws and never once compromising my integrity or that of the office I now relinquish,” Aranas wrote.
Prior to his stint as the fund’s top man, Aranas was the national treasurer of Duterte’s political party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan. Aranas also served as a deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue following an appointment by the nation’s top executive.