Vergara should listen to millions of GSIS members

IT IS worth noting that some of the newly-appointed officials of a number of key and sensitive agencies of the government prefer to work under the radar and away from the prying eyes of the media and the public.

Among these low-key officials are Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) President and General Manager Robert Vergara, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) Chief Cristino Naguiat Jr. and Social Security System (SSS) head Juan Santos to name a few.

Unlike their respective predecessors namely Winston Garcia for GSIS, Ephraim Genuino for Pagcor and Romulo Neri for SSS who have been the favorite beef of the media because of the many controversies and issues that they found themselves into, these government executives appear to be quietly doing their jobs without much fanfare.

They are so unassuming and silent to the point that I am sure majority of the 80 million Filipinos do not know who they are and what are they doing.

We can only surmise if it was deliberate on their part, but what I want to ask is if being low-key and unassuming can be equated to being effective and good leader of the respective agencies that they head?

Take for example the case of Vergara. This early, many government employees are expressing their disgust over the way he manages the affairs at the GSIS.

While it appears that Vergara prides himself for being a silent operator, many state employees are however questioning some of the “reforms” that he wants to initiate in his turf.

The complaining government workers are particularly mad at him for reportedly ordering his subordinates to be extra strict in prohibiting members from making multiple inquiries on behalf of their fellow members using GSIS e-cards in their kiosks.

This may sound a petty complaint or mundane but to the thousands of affected state workers this is certainly big deal and reasonable.

Vergara should remember that there are more than a million state workers throughout the country so any single wrong move or policy that he should implement would certainly affect more than a million people .

The complaining members narrated that it used to be that they can easily conduct various checks on their available balance as well as if they are already approved with their loans and do other related transactions by just clicking on the website of the agency and without having to go to the nearest GSIS office.

However, with the advent of the new regime the state workers noticed that the said very  important feature was apparently ordered removed from the GSIS website.

As a result, members who might wish to make an inquiry on his account will now have to personally go to the nearest GSIS office.

But what made the matter worse was when Vergara reportedly ordered his front-line employees to prevent members from making multiple inquiries in favor of their fellow members.

“Dahil nga sa inalis na nila ang inquiry sa website ay obligado na ang mga members na pumunta sa GSIS office pero ang problema pinagbabawal nila na mag-tsek gamit ang e-card para sa ibang miembro kaya ngayon tumatambak ang mga tao sa opisina nila , parang gusto yata talaga nilang pahirapan ang mga tao” a fuming female state employee said.

The way I look at it, it appears that these complaining members have a valid point. Why make life hard when you can make it simpler?

If Vergara wants to show that he is better than Winston Garcia , then he should revisit the policies that he is trying to implement at the GSIS.

Better still he should listen to the complaint of his members. After all, sila ang boss mo!-Bobby R. Ricohermoso


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