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Senator to GSIS: Where did you invest funds?

October 6, 2008 4:50pm
MANILA, Philippines - Opposition senator Francis Escudero on Monday urged the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to disclose its investment schedules abroad after it claimed to have gained 1.2 billion pesos under its global investment program (GIP).

Escudero, chairman of the Senate ways and means committee, said the GSIS is obliged now more than ever to properly show where its growth claim came from as it still leaves so much doubt.

"From what date to what date was 5 percent gain calculated? It may have been computed prior to recent market crash," Escudero said in a press statement.

He said the financial institution failed and continues to refuse to provide details of where the supposed gain, as of September 30, came from.

"GSIS vaguely said it has invested $600 million of its $1 billion global investment program. They have not even showed anything to prove the extent of this investment, where and how the global investment is made. And now they want us to just accept their words at face value that the funds grew?" Escudero said.

The senator challenged GSIS to show the asset selection fund managers have made on behalf of GSIS and what proportions of these investments have gained if indeed the government employees' state pension fund grew.

Escudero said fund managers are financial agencies selected by GSIS as the custodian of its funds and assets intended for global investment.

He also urged GSIS to translate the supposed growth into efficient, effective and outright service to its members by way of "immediate release of pensions to those who are claiming what is just rightfully theirs in the first place".

Escudero said GSIS is no different from private corporations with stockholders and board members.

"Only, GSIS has members as stockholders who should be properly informed and notified on the state of their investments," the senator said.

He said if the GSIS really want to avoid panic among their members, they should put everyone in a position to ascertain for themselves that their funds are intact, safe and remains to be properly invested for their protection.

He said GSIS President Winston Garcia ignored groups and individuals demanding for the agency's proper disclosure of its possible exposure in the US market following the collapse of its major investment and financial houses.

He said the GSIS chief hit the groups back by saying their unfounded doubts are just driving the public in panic and agitation.

"Look who is putting the public in panic and continued jitters? Their continued refusal to publicly disclose where they put the government employees' money only fans the embers of doubt and insecurity among its members," Escudero said.

The senator has been pressing GSIS to provide details on how much discretion was given to the fund managers with respect to how and where the GIP investments are to be made. - Amita Legaspi, GMANews.TV
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