The Chairman of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS,) retired Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, was sworn in by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as the new Executive Secretary on September 27.
“As I step down as GSIS Chairman after two years and seven months, I feel extremely grateful to the men and women of GSIS, including my colleagues at the Board of Trustees, for the remarkable work that they have been putting in to promote the interest of GSIS members, pensioners and their families. In my relatively brief stay in GSIS, I have witnessed firsthand the professionalism and competence of its executives and employees, which undoubtedly propelled the state pension fund, to become one of the leading public service institutions in the country. I will be leaving GSIS in competent hands under the leadership of now Acting Chairman and President and General Manager Wick Veloso who will undoubtedly bring it to greater heights,” Bersamin said in a statement.
Executive Secretary Bersamin was appointed chairman of the GSIS Board of Trustees on February 6, 2020. At GSIS, Bersamin’s long judicial experience and legal expertise complemented the professional experience and competence of the other members of the Board of Trustees in their respective fields.
Under his watch as Chairman, the pension fund was cited by the 2020 Stevie International Business Awards for having one of the “Most Valuable Government Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic” in the world. It was also during Bersamin’s term when GSIS was named one of the Top 5 Most Trusted Government Agencies in the 2021 Philippine Trust Index for remaining engaged with its members and pensioners even during the pandemic. Both recognitions are attributable to the efforts of the GSIS Board and Management in implementing the following: contactless filing of loans and claims; emergency loan window with increased credit limit and relaxed eligibility terms; crediting of pensions ahead of schedule; online yearly appearance requirement for pensioners available; six-month moratorium on loan payments; half-million peso insurance benefit to the families of medical frontliners who succumbed to COVID-19; and strict social distancing and biosecurity measures in its offices nationwide.
“I extend my warmest congratulations to Chairman Lucas P. Bersamin on your appointment as Executive Secretary. I wish you all the best and may the wind of success blow your way. It was such a great honor and privilege to learn from you during the brief time we worked together. Your immense knowledge, legal expertise and wealth of experience will be a tremendous asset to PBBM, as he steers our nation towards growth and prosperity,” GSIS President and General Manager Wick Veloso, who was designated by the GSIS Board today as Acting Chairman in a resolution, said in his message to the new executive secretary.
Born and raised in Abra, Bersamin finished his law degree at the University of the East in 1973 and placed 9th at the Bar examinations on the same year. In 1986, he was appointed presiding judge of the Quezon City Trial Court Branch 96. He served as associate justice at the Court of Appeals in 2003 and in 2009, was elevated to the Supreme Court.
As Executive Secretary, Bersamin will directly assist the President in the management of affairs of the government as well as to direct the operations of the executive office.