BY MAE SINGUAY
BACOLOD City – Nearly P2 billion in emergency loans have been released to survivors of super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in Negros Occidental, said Chairman Daniel Lacson of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
“Yolanda” hit northern Negros Occidental in November last year.
Five thousand families in the province benefited from the loans, said Lacson, a Negrense and former governor of the province.
Overall, GSIS released some P16 billion to help in the “Yolanda” recovery efforts in affected areas mostly in central Philippines – P12 billion for the Home Emergency Loan Program and P4 billion in emergency loans.
In Negros Occidental, the beneficiaries were families in the cities of Talisay, Silay, Victorias, Cadiz, Sagay, Escalante, and San Carlos, and the municipalities of E. B. Magalona, Manapla, Toboso, Calatrava, and Don Salvador Benedicto.
Lacson was here on Friday for a dialog with public sector unions. He was with, among others, Dionisio Ebdane Jr., GSIS senior vice president for the Visayas-Mindanao Group, and GSIS Bacolod branch manager Vilma Fuentes.
Despite the huge loans that GSIS released, Lacson said the government agency hopes to boost its assets to P1 trillion by 2016.
GSIS’ assets are growing, Lacson assured the Negrenses. These ballooned to P852 billion now from P600 billion in 2010.
Meanwhile, during the dialogue on Friday, Lacson said the GSIS Board is giving topmost priority to three areas: policy amendments, investments, and cultural change.
He said they are pushing for the passage of the Amended GSIS Act so the policies and reforms implemented by the present board will be institutionalized. /PN