Ridding Raiders in GOCCs and GFIs

While these corporations make money for the government, these are also service corporations that serve not the interests of their directors, many of them having delusions of ownership and rule them as if these are a family enterprise, and the people they represent–the Filipinos. Sadly, many of these public corporations have a very low threshold of service efficiency, if at all it’s valued. But the GCG shares the blame for its equally poor appreciation of efficiency, which should balance profit. Ultimately, these corporations serve the public, and there’s no better way in serving us than with efficiency.

Since we’re on GOCCs, let’s talk a little about GFIs, with the GSIS as the ‘centerfold.’

A recently retired professor at the state university had to go through hell just to collect her retirement check, all in about eight agonizing months of waiting, of being told to go to this or that person in that holy nest called GSIS in Pasay. The only thing fortunate about the whole story about this professor is the fact that she does not rely on her salary or her retirement benefits to survive; she is well provided for by her husband, a retired officer in the uniformed service. But that’s the professor. But the story of the thousands of government retirees are far, far sadder, including that of my late mother. 

I remember when my late father was about to collect the last check payment for my late mother’s death benefits from the GSIS, we also had to go through the familiar hellish route: we had to pay someone inside the GSIS to hasten release so we could go back home to Bukidnon. Bribery was effective at that time (although I believe it is still up to now). It was the easiest way to hold hostage claimants especially those coming from afar. My father who didn’t like confrontation and complicate things gave in, because more waiting means more expenses. On the day the check was released at the GSIS’s former headquarters in Arroceros, a well-coiffed lady in regal dress came out of the cashier’s room with a male underling. She instructed the latter to accompany us to PNB Escolta where we would encash the check. Soon as the check was encashed, my father gave P5,000 to the underling for his boss (and presumably some amount for him, too) right before my eyes! I didn’t understand it until a few years later. That was in 1988! And the underling had the gall to ask us to buy him and his boss sandwich at a burger joint across the street!

Yes, I only told this story now. This is how corrupt the agency or some if not many of its agents were, and probably are. This is how inefficient the GSIS has become over years of bloating its bureaucracy, over years of fattening the wallets of the wheeling dealing, delusional privileged few who ran the fund as if it’s a family fortune, over years of making money for the people who probably will never have the chance to even see its color.

The legendary bureaucratic inefficiency at the GSIS offers a valuable lesson to all soon-to-retire public servants: they need to prove that they indeed served the government for 30 years, or even more. Read: keep all records of your premiums in handy. It also reaffirms the virtue of patience, assuming you won’t lose it after months, in some cases years, of waiting for your retirement fees. But behind all these stories of corruption and inefficiency, there’s one thing that the GSIS truly excels in and that is beyond compare. And that’s in the deduction of premiums of its members. It’s world class! Very fast, instantaneous, at the speed of light!

But as I have belabored already, the speed drastically drops the moment you collect what is rightfully yours which you have entrusted them and fatten many a directors’ wallets for years. 

The GSIS may not be abolished, and those corrupt officers may be there until the second coming, heaven forbid, but the public it serves may have already lost its patience. We’re seeing signs of a people’s patience being lost in neighboring Thailand, of confidence seriously in question.

But in the home front, we ask what happened to the anti-pork rage, to the patience lost, to the promises unfulfilled and to the services undelivered.

And if you say you don’t know, then you know the answer. 

You are the answer, you forgetful people! It’s cliche, but it’s true, we get the government we deserve!

When Memory (Nearly) Fails, Again!

I have been trying to access this blog since around the third quarter last year but as fate would have its unlucky turn I could not remember my login password.

Finally, after nearly giving up accessing this blog, I did it! Though I didn’t give much thought to it, I luckily typed the right combination which I almost forgot the moment the my screen displayed a familiar interface.

What happened a few minutes ago happened for a reason: that I should be posting here rather regularly for the simple reason not to forget my login password again. I promise that if that occurs again, I’ll give up blogging, at least with this account.

But I suspect that my luck has to do with the resignation of Benedict whose final reign as pope ends tomorrow, February 28. Benedict is at the center of  a global sex scandal involving priests and their bishops who tried unsuccessfully to cover up thousands of cases of child molestations, resulting in huge settlements with victims in the United States.

But before this joyful post gets toxic with papal waste, let me end here by singing Aleluiah to my lucky fingers for pressing the right buttons.

Miracles really don’t happen.

I shall return . . .

The last time I made an entry on my blog at the other site–the password of which I have forgotten already–I promised an update, lots of them. That was eons ago. Actually, that was shortly after Ondoy ravaged my office and everything in it, save for my laptop which I instinctively brought home the night before the great flood.

Photo courtesy: http://www.abbeville.com

But as customary for us humans, promises are meant to be broken. Until, I forgot the password.

Now, I have to make use of my old smart phone where I can save on draft some notes, unlike in my new phone.

It feels good to be blogging again. Between my last entry at the other site and this first post here on WordPress, Facebook has been very kind, and uncomplaining with my thoughts, vile as they are at times.

And so I made another promise: to write my new passwords in my old phone’s draft notes.

I couldn’t make the same mistake the second time around.

Since it’s been awhile, I need to reacquaint myself with the dashboard.

The templates are numerous, though many of them are now for sale!

Indeed, you can’t close your eyes for a while as the world drives by.