B. GSIS Law

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Atty. Jericho Del Puerto

Lawyer, Author, Mentor

1. COVERAGE AND EXCLUSIONS

a. Compulsory coverage

Employers of employees compulsorily covered by the SSS. These shall include private employers previously granted waiver or suspension of coverage for whatever reason under Presidential Decree 1752, as amended. Provided, that manning agencies together with the foreign ship owners shall be considered jointly and severally as the employers of Filipino Seafarers. Provided finally, that a self-employed person subject to compulsory coverage by the SSS shall be treated by the Fund as both employee and employer at the same time. (Section 2[a], Rule V, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9679)

Examples:
1) A private employee, whether permanent, temporary, or provisional who is not over sixty (60) years old is covered; (pp. 62, 2020 Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE-BWC, 2020 edition)
2) A household helper earning at least ₱1,000.00 a month. A household helper is any person who renders domestic services exclusively to a household such as a driver, gardener, cook, governess, and other similar occupations; (Ibid.)
3) A Filipino seafarer upon the signing of the standard contract of employment between the seafarer and the manning agency, which together with the foreign ship owner, acts as the employer; (Ibid.)
4) A self-employed person regardless of trade, business or occupation, with an income of at least ₱1,000.00 a month and not over sixty (60) years old; (Ibid.)
5) A [foreign] expatriate [living and working in the Philippines and] who is not more than sixty (60) years old and is compulsorily covered by the Social Security System (SSS), regardless of citizenship, nature and duration of employment, and the manner by which the compensation is paid. In the absence of an explicit exemption from SSS coverage, the said expatriate, upon assumption of office, shall be covered by the Fund;
6) Filipinos employed by foreign-based employers, whether they are deployed here or abroad or a combination thereof. (Ibid.)

Employers of employees subject of mandatory coverage by the GSIS. (Section 2[b], Rule V, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9679)

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Philippine National Police. (Section 2[c], Rule V, Ibid.)

b. Voluntary coverage

Persons who are at least eighteen (18) years old but not more than sixty-five (65) years old and are not subject to mandatory coverage

Persons who are at least eighteen (18) years old but not more than sixty-five (65) years old and are not subject to mandatory coverage may be covered by the Fund on a voluntary basis, subject to such terms and conditions stated in these Rules or as the Board may impose. (Section 3, Rule V, Ibid.)

Examples:
1) Spouses who devote full time to managing the household and family affairs, unless they also engage in another vocation or employment which is subject to mandatory coverage; (Section 3[a], Rule V, Ibid.)
2) Filipino employees of foreign government or international organization, or their wholly-owned instrumentality based in the Philippines, in the absence of an administrative agreement with the Fund; (Section 3[b], Rule V, Ibid.)
3) Employees of an employer who is granted a waiver or suspension of coverage by the Fund under R.A. 9679; (Section 3[c], Rule V, Ibid.)
4) Leaders and members of religious groups; (Section 3[d], Rule V, Ibid.)
5) A member separated from employment, local or abroad, or ceased to be self-employed, but would like to continue paying his or her personal contribution. Such member may be a pensioner, investor, or any other individual with passive income or allowances; (Section 3[e], Rule V, Ibid.)
6) Public officials or employees who are not covered by the GSIS, such as Barangay Officials, including Barangay Chairmen, Barangay Council Members, Chairmen of Sangguniang Kabataan, and Barangay Secretaries and Treasurers; (Section 3[f], Rule V, Ibid.)
7) Such other earning groups as may be determined by the Board by rules and regulations. (Section 3[g], Rule V, Ibid.)

c. Effective Date of Mandatory and Voluntary Membership and Coverage

Mandatory coverage of the employer shall take effect on the first day of his business operation, and that of the employee on the date of his or her employment: Provided, that for:

1) Employees and employers who are not subject of mandatory coverage prior to R.A. 9679 and these Rules, including the uniformed members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Bureau of Fire Protection, the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, and the Philippine National Police, and their respective employers, as well as Filipinos employed by foreign based employers, mandatory coverage shall take effect on January 1, 2010, unless a different date is set by the Board by resolution; (Section 4[a], Rule V, Ibid.)

2) Employers whose coverage had been previously suspended or waived for whatever reason under PD 1752, their coverage as well as that of their employees shall take effect after the expiration of their respective suspension or waiver of coverage; (Section 4[b], Rule V, Ibid.)

3) Voluntary members, coverage shall commence on the actual date of registration (Section 4[c], Rule V, Ibid.)

Provided, finally, that actual membership in the Fund shall commence only upon remittance of the initial contribution and not at point of registration. (Section 4[d], Rule V, Ibid.)

2. DEPENDENTS AND BENEFICIARIES

Dependents. Dependents – refers to legal dependents of a deceased member, as defined under the Family Code. (Section 3[d], R.A. 9679, Pag-IBIG [Pagtutulungan sa kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industriya at Gobyerno] Fund)

Beneficiaries. Beneficiaries – refers to person or persons who are entitled to receive the member’s TAV arising from the death of the member who shall be the heirs, as provided for under the Civil Code of the Philippines, of said member. (Section 1[a], Rule III, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9679)

Employee. Employee – refers to any person who performs services for an employer in which either or both mental and physical efforts are used and who receives any compensation for such service. (Section 1[f], Rule III, Ibid.)

Employer. Employer – refers to any person, natural or juridical, domestic or foreign, who carries on in the Philippines, or outside of the Philippines, any trade, business, industry, undertaking or activity of any kind, and uses the services of another person who is under his order as regards such services; the Government and any of its national and local offices, political subdivisions, branches, agencies, or instrumentalities, including corporations owned and/or controlled by the government. (Section 1[g], Rule III, Ibid.)

Total Accumulated Value (TAV). Total Accumulated Value (TAV) – refers to the sum of the member’s contributions and the employer’s required contributions, when appropriate, and the corresponding dividends credited hereto. (Section 1[u], Rule III, Ibid.)

3. BENEFITS

a. Savings or Provident Savings Program

Savings or Provident Savings Program is a fast, easy and affordable way for a member to save for his future needs. The contributions that a member makes together with the employer counterpart are credited to his Total Accumulated Value (TAV). A member contributing two percent of his monthly compensation doubles his savings immediately with the addition of the employer counterpart contribution. Meanwhile, a member contributing one percent of his monthly compensation triples his savings as the employer counterpart remains at two percent. Aside from being fully guaranteed by the national government, members’ contributions are deducted from the gross income prior to computation of the income tax. Members’ savings earn annual dividends that are also tax -free. The dividend rate varies depending on the net income of the Fund at yearend. (p. 64, 2020 Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE-BWC, 2020 edition)

b. Short-Term Loan Programs

A member may avail of the Fund’s various short-term loans and other benefit programs, provided that he or she satisfies the eligibility requirements set by the Board. (Section 7, Rule IX, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9679)

Short-Term Loan Programs are meant to provide assistance to its members, provided they are active and have made at least monthly contributions. There are two short-term loan programs that a member may avail of when the need arises. The Multi-Purpose Loan Program was designed to help finance members’ immediate medical, educational or livelihood needs; minor home improvement, purchase of appliance and furniture, and other related needs. Meanwhile, the Calamity Loan Program is extended to members who have been affected by a recent calamity, as proven by a declaration of calamity in their area of residence. (p. 64, 2020 Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE-BWC, 2020 edition)

c. Housing Programs

Housing Programs that an eligible member may avail of in the form of housing loans are either the End-User Financing Program or the Magaang Pabahay, Disenteng Buhay Program. Under the End-User Financing Program, a member may avail of a loan to finance any of the following (Circular 247):

1) Purchase of a fully developed lot not exceeding one 1,000 square meters, which should be within a residential area;

2) Purchase of a residential house and lot, townhouse or condominium unit, inclusive of a parking slot. The unit may be: (a) Old or brand new; (b) A property mortgaged with the Fund; or (c) An acquired asset, which is disposed of through sealed public bidding, negotiated sale, or the Rent-to-Own Program.

3) Construction or completion of a residential unit on a lot owned by the member;

4) Home improvement, i.e. any alteration in an existing residential unit intended by a homeowner to be a permanent integral part of the property, which will enhance its durability and material value;

5) Refinancing of an existing mortgage with an institution acceptable to the Fund, provided that: (a) The loan is not in default within the 12 months prior to the date of application; (b) The said loan has a repayment history of at two years with the original mortgagee.

6) Combination of loan purposes, which shall be limited to the following: (a) Purchase of a fully developed lot not exceeding 1,000 square meters and construction of a residential unit thereon; (b) Purchase of a residential unit, whether old or new, with home improvement; (c) Refinancing of an existing mortgage with home improvement; (d) Refinancing of an existing mortgage, specifically a lot loan, with construction of a residential unit thereon. (pp. 64-65, 2020 Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE-BWC, 2020 edition)

Under the Magaang Pabahay, Disenteng Buhay Program, a qualified member may purchase an acquired asset of the Fund either in cash or through a housing loan at very reasonable prices. A buyer who purchases an acquired asset in cash is entitled to a 20% discount on the property’s sales price, while a buyer who purchases through a housing loan is entitled to a 15% discount on the property’s sales price. (pp. 64-65, 2020 Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE-BWC, 2020 edition)

Housing loan. Housing Features. A member of good standing shall be eligible to apply for housing loans, under such terms and conditions as may be authorized by the Board, taking into account ability to pay. The Board of Trustees shall institute policies to ensure that lower-income members obtain such housing loans. (Section 6, Rule IX, Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9679)

To qualify for a Pag-IBIG housing loan, a member must satisfy the following requirements:

1) Must be a member under the Pag-IBIG I for at least 24 months, as evidenced by the remittance of at least 24 monthly contributions at the time of loan application.

2) Not more than 65 years old at the date of loan application and must be insurable; provided further that he is not more than 70 years old at loan maturity;

3)  Has the legal capacity to acquire and encumber real property;

4) Has passed satisfactory background/credit and employment/business checks conducted by the developer and the Pag-IBIG Fund;

5) Has no outstanding Pag-IBIG housing loan, either as a principal borrower or co- borrower;

6) Has not availed of a Pag-IBIG housing loan that was foreclosed, cancelled, bought back due to default, or subjected to dacion en pago, which shall include cases where the borrower is no longer interested to pursue the loan and surrenders the property;

7) May have an outstanding Pag-IBIG multi-purpose loan but which is updated in payments at the time of loan application. A member whose multi-purpose loan is in arrears shall be required to pay his arrears over the counter to update his account. (pp. 65-66, 2020 Handbook Workers’ Statutory Monetary Benefits, DOLE-BWC, 2020 edition)

d. Death Benefits

Upon the death of a member, his or her beneficiaries shall be entitled to death benefits in an amount to be determined by the Board in addition to the Total Accumulated Value as mentioned provided for under in Section 5 hereof. (Section 10, Rule IX, Ibid.)

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