By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Office of the Ombudsman in Western Visayas will ask the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to explain and resolve the delayed remittance of retirees’ pensions.

This after the Ombudsman received complaints from GSIS pensioners in the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo about the 8-month delay in their monthly pensions.

Evangeline Nuñal, Ombudsman graft investigator, said 79 pensioners from Bacolod City and 40 pensioners in Iloilo sent their complaints to the People’s Graftwatch in their respective areas. The Graftwatch then forwarded the complaints to the Ombudsman-Western Visayas office for investigation.

Nuñal said the case was assigned to her through a raffle by their office. Her first move is to send a letter to the GSIS regional and national offices asking for an explanation and resolution to the pensioners’ problem.

If GSIS does not respond to their first letter, Nuñal said they will send two more letters of the same nature.

If the state pension fund does not respond after three letters, the Ombudsman will launch a formal investigation which could lead to the filing of administrative and criminal cases.

Aside from the complainants in Bacolod and Iloilo, some pensioners in Antique and Capiz are also planning to send their own complaints to the Ombudsman through the Social Action Center of the Catholic Church.

GSIS pensioners recently complained that they did not receive their September pensions on the designated date.

Fe Panes, GSIS-Iloilo assistant manager, said the delay was caused by the “migration” or transfer of pensioners’ records to their new computer system.

GSIS is implementing an overhaul of its computer system after the software of its technology provider crashed.

Panes said GSIS sent text message broadcast to pensioners informing them about the delay in the remittance of their pensions.

But some pensioners said they did not receive any word from the state pension fund.