My mother
is a GSIS pensioner. This January, she did not receive her monthly pension
check instead she received a notification to apply for eCARD because all GSIS
payments now are via eCARD. She received it around 3rd week of
January but the letter is dated December 15, 2006.

We went
there to apply for that ecard. Then, they said it will be released 3-4 weeks.
We will receive a text once it is released.
After 3
weeks, we did not get that text message. My mother who can’t wait decided to
call GSIS for like 3 days but they’re unreachable because their line is always
busy. And, they only have 1 telephone number for inquiries, I think. I wonder
what happen to other numbers. I remember they have a globe number before.
To make my
mother happy, I went to their office to follow-up the status. I was glad to
know that my mother’s ecard is available for pick-up. So the day after, I
brought my nanay to pick it up.
We then ask
the assigned person disbursing the ecards if her January and February pensions
can already be withdrawn. The GSIS staff answered with after 3-4 weeks. Wow, they
surely are fond of 3-4 weeks!
I applauded
GSIS for having this eCARD but there are just some wrongs in here:
First, they
should have not stopped sending out the monthly checks until one can withdraw money from the eCARD. I think they know that some people/families are depending
on their retirement pensions.
they should have a way where people can follow-up without going to their
office. I actually saw people there from far-away towns like me to follow-up on
their eCARDS and they’d just get a reply of, ‘Wa pa man, ma’am. Balik lng 1
week after.’ And, please note kapila na tawn sila nag balik2x.
Third, they
should not remove the option of receiving the pension via check. The pensioner
needs to physically go there to apply for that eCARD. So you would see there
lots of old people on wheelchair applying for eCARDS. It does not look so
convenient.  Most of the pensioners are
senior citizens who are not so technically updated especially those who are not
from the city. One example is my nanay. She flipped when she saw an Expiry date
on her ATM card. (It has an expiry date because it’s Visa electron.) How would
those far from the city withdraw their money like my nanay? I saw lots of
really old people going to the GSIS office just to ask why they get this such
and such message on the ATM machine and some even asking how to use it. Anyway,
at least something new for them.
End of