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GSIS thumbs down Sofitel rental offer

Pat C. Santos

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The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has turned down an offer of Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel to pay rental on GSIS-owned land at P40 per square meter.

“If we accept this, it would be unfair for us. This is prime property pero binabarat nila tayo (but they are shortchanging us)” said GSIS president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas.

The state pension fund maintains Sofitel owes GSIS at least P101.6 million for the use of lots 19 and 41 as valet parking space and tennis court, among other uses, since 1993.
GSIS claimed Sofitel had no lease contracts for the said lots.

Aranas, meanwhile, said the agency needs more experts in projects GSIS is implementing, including housing for members.

“We need to have corporate competence, particularly in housing development and management,” said Aranas.

“We do not have the expertise here like Pag-Ibig but we have to deal with it. That’s why we are reorganizing so we can put things in order,” he added.

The GSIS chief admitted the agency is losing money on housing projects because no careful examination hasd been done on individuals who availed of housing loans.

He said they would make sure that under his watch the loans will be paid by borrowers to GSIS.

He urged GSIS members to pay their loans until September 30 this year to avoid penalties.
“One way to settle your loan account is by availing of our Enhanced Conso-Loan Plus program which waives all penalties and surcharges on your existing salary loan accounts, including additional interests,” Aranas ended.