The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) was recently cited by the 2020 Stevie International Business Awards for having the “Most Valuable Government Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” in the world. GSIS was the sole government agency to win the Gold Stevie award in this category, besting entries from the United States and Australia. The Silver Stevie Award went to the ICMA-RC in Washington D.C.; the City and County (LGU) of Denver, Colorado; and the Australian Taxation Office in Canberra.
In its congratulatory letter, the Stevie Awards commended GSIS for “working valiantly over the past months to keep its members and pensioners safe, healthy and informed.” The judges in the international competition also noted that “GSIS was able to anticipate and work at alleviating the plight of government employees and retirees. The reassurance and support that GSIS provided to its members and pensioners was an inspiration, and the pension fund carried out a very good communications plan that kept members and pensioners informed of the services and benefits it was offering at the height of the crisis.” GSIS mobilized public service programs on radio, TV, online publications, social media and its SMS facility to communicate to its members and pensioners during the quarantine.
GSIS President and General Manager Rolando Ledesma Macasaet thanked the Stevie Awards for recognizing the state pension fund’s efforts during the pandemic. “It is a great honor to be chosen as the government institution with the best government response to COVID-19 in the world. For that, I thank our GSIS employees for staying committed and focused on their work despite the fact that most of them are also affected by the crisis,” Macasaet said.
“I also thank our Board of Trustees, led by former Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, for its guidance and support in our efforts to make GSIS more proactive and responsive to the needs of our members, especially our pensioners who are most vulnerable to COVID-19,” he added.
In line with its efforts to protect its members and pensioners from the virus and provide for the financial needs of its members during the crisis, GSIS 1.) introduced the online filing of loans; 2) provided options for “contactless” filing of claims through mail or drop box; 3.) opened an Emergency Loan window with increased credit limit and relaxed payment terms; 4.) e-credited pensions ahead of the usual monthly schedule; 5.) suspended the yearly physical appearance requirement for pensioners; 6.) granted a four-month moratorium on loan payments; 7.) established a program granting a half-million peso insurance benefit to the families of medical frontliners who died of COVID-19; and 8.) implemented strict social distancing and biosecurity measures in all its branches nationwide.
Earlier in July 2020, GSIS won two Silver Stevies and one Bronze Stevie in recognition of its innovations and initiatives in customer service and corporate communications. GSIS won the Silver Stevie under the “Innovation in Cause-related Videos” category for its corporate advocacy video entitled “Speak Up: The Anti-Sexual Harassment Video.” It likewise got the Silver Stevie for its “GTAP: A Guide to GSIS Transactions and Processes” program under the category “Innovative Use of Technology in Customer Service-Government Sector.” The GSIS institutional video also received the Bronze Stevie under the category “Innovation in Organization Image Videos.”
Established in 2002, the Stevie Awards was conceived by American business executive Michael Gallagher with the stated purpose of “honoring the positive contributions and accomplishments of business corporations, government organizations and working professionals around the world.” Since its founding 18 years ago, the “Stevie Award” has emerged to become as one of the most sought-after awards for private corporations and public organizations across the globe and considered as the “Oscars” for business organizations. Each year, the Stevie Awards Secretariat receives over 12,000 nominations from over 60 countries worldwide.