Around 20,000 public school teachers in Palawan may not be able to apply for loans from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) due to non-remittance of their premiums for the past two months.
GSIS Palawan Branch Manager Marina Ignacio disclosed Thursday last week that the Department of Education (DepEd) Mimaropa Region has not been remitting the personal 9% basic salary and the 12% government shares of public school teachers in Puerto Princesa and the province since January.
She said the premiums that have not yet been remitted is now approximately P6 million with a penalty of P600,000.
“The DepEd Mimaropa sent a letter in January requesting to be given enough time to update their system before they remit, but it was denied. Their reason is they are updating the salaries due to the increase. However, this should not be a reason not to remit,” she said.
The GSIS’ reason in denying the DepEd Mimaropa’s request, she explained, was that remittance of premiums from old salaries can be made.
“It’s not allowed, and our reason is that it can pay the premiums from the old salaries, and pay later the amount that the salary adjustments will incur,” Ignacio said.
Ignacio clarified that the non-payment of remittance is not the fault of DepEd-Palawan.
“The DepEd here is not at fault. It’s the DepEd regional office that is the cause of delay in remittance. They have to pay the penalty for late remittance. The effect of this is that, if they are unable to remit after three months, the teachers cannot apply for loans,” she added.
DepEd-Palawan Assistant Division Superintendent Rose Vicente told Palawan News Friday they are doing everything to remind their regional office about the remittance.
“We’ve received a letter from the GSIS and we already endorsed it to our regional office. We’re hoping and praying that this problem will be resolved immediately because our teachers will be affected if they cannot avail loans when they have emergencies,” she said.
Vicente said that yesterday, they sent one of their personnel to the GSIS in Palawan to know more details that they can report to DepEd Mimaropa.
Under Section 6 (b) of Republic Act 8219 or the GSIS Act of 1997, it is mandated that each employer should remit directly to the GSIS the employees’ and employers’ contributions within the first ten (10) days of the calendar month following the month to which the contributions apply. The law also provides for a 2% monthly interest in case of delay.
Ignacio said the public school teachers in Palawan are not the only ones affected, but also those in the other provinces in Mimaropa.