Beginning April and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the government’s 12-percent share in its personnel’s monthly Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) contributions will be directly remitted by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the state-run pension fund.

Under the yearly national budget, both the government and employee shares in the compulsory GSIS retirement and life insurance premium contributions had been usually included in agency budgets.

But Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said in DBM Circular Letter (CL) No. 2020-6 issued on Monday (March 30) that “as a result of the existence of a national emergency arising from the COVID-19 disease, the GSIS, through the Department of Finance (DOF), requested the timely remittance of the government share in premium contribution to ensure that any benefit pay-outs required by its members are fully provided.”

The DBM withdrew the funds comprehensively released to agencies under the general allotment release order (Garo) last Jan. 6—when President Rodrigo Duterte signed the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget—which were allocated for the government’s share in GSIS contributions covering the period April to December 2020.

“Accordingly, the negative Garo shall be issued for the purpose covering the second to fourth quarters’ funding requirement of the government share,” Avisado’s order read.

“We wanted to be sure that the GSIS coverage of [government] employees are not affected by the ongoing crisis—thus, they are covered all the way,” Avisado explained to the Inquirer.

“We do things the expedient and secure way at this time. The resources are scarce, thus fund management becomes even more complicated unless we simplify. We want to make sure that the welfare of employees are always protected,” Avisado added.

Last week, the DBM said it already released the NCAs for the government’s operating requirements during the second quarter, including civilian personnel’s higher compensation under the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 5 which took effect this year, as well as their allowances and the midyear bonus to be given away starting May 15.

The DBM’s second-quarter releases also included pay for contractual workers and job orders in government service.

Edited by TSB


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