Gabriela, GSIS Fund Owners, Denounce Malacanang-Garcia Bid For Meralco Takeover

Thu, 05/15/2008 - 06:00 -- CPU Intern1

Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza today joined government employees in denouncing the use of GSIS assets in the Malacanang-led bid to takeover Meralco.

“Malacanang should stop pitting government employees’ funds for this apparent financial crackdown on business and media institutions that refuse to toe her line,” said Maza.

Maza fears transferring the Meralco management from the Lopezes to the Malacanang-Garcia conspiracy is like putting electricity consumers from the frying pan to the fire.

According to the Gabriela solon, GSIS President Winston Garcia is the last person who can speak for the interests of government employees, having repeatedly gambled government employees’ money into various speculative investments without consultation, while ignoring appeals for efficiency and transparency in the delivery of services. “Instead of utilizing GSIS funds in this crackdown, it should instead be maximized for the increase of dividends, the delivery of retirement and pension benefits for government employees.”

Last year, Gabriela Women’s Party filed a House Resolution 333 last year to look into the GSIS “global fund management program” allowing foreign investments firms and private international fund managers to handle GSIS members’ funds.

The Gabriela solon further said, “The Garcia-led GSIS has been plagued with complaints of non-remittance of benefits and pensions; of a top-heavy, over-compensated management and; of entering into unwise investments to the detriment of government employees. With this track record, can we trust them with the management of a public utility?”

Maza said the public’s demands for lower electricity rates can easily be achieved by the suspension of the Value Added Tax and the repeal of the EPIRA. “Malacanang’ s adamant refusal to rid basic services and utilities of the VAT betrays its real intent in attacking Meralco. Malacanang is not out to reduce power rates, it is out to claim more power by attacking its critics.” #