Friday, July 13, 2018

Discontinued pension? 
APIR as set, GSIS says

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 11 (PIA)—Are you a Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) pensioner and you failed to receive your pension for July?

If you are, or you know somebody who is, that is because they have failed to validate and activate their status, which was supposed to be done before June 30, GSIS Information Officer Sherwin Viva explained. 

By validation and activation, Viva means the Annual Pensioners Information Revalidation (APIR) which was formerly Annual Renewal of Active Status (ARAS), GSIS said. 

The GSIS implemented back its annual personal appearance of GSIS pensioners to ascertain their funds are protected by making sure it is their members who are getting the pension and not anyone else. 

This can deplete the funds, which could go to the over-all benefit of its active members, GSIS claimed. 

However, according to the government insurance agency then, pensioners with permanent total disability (PTD), old-age active GSIS member pensioners, guardians of dependent children, pensioners over 80 years old with ill health conditions, pensioners abroad and those at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) areas, may not necessarily APIR as scheduled, which was during its mass validation set between March 23 to June 30 this year.

According to the GSIS, as soon as a member is revalidated, it would only take between three to five days after their revalidation for the members to withdraw their monthly pensions which would be credited to their e-card accounts. 

Along this line, the GSIS enjoins old-age and survivorship pensioners who have to APIR, to visit the local GSIS office on the following schedule dates of processing: Batch 1 on July 11, 2018 (Wednesday) at 5:30 in the afternoon; Batch 2 on July 19 (Thursday) at 5:30 in the afternoon. 

Batch 3 would be on July 26 Thursday at 5:30 in the afternoon and Batch 4 would be on July 31, 2018 at 5:30 in the afternoon. 

Member pensioners who intend to get validated must bring the GSIS issued UMID card and another government issued identification card with the pensioners picture and signature. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
BI asks LGU help in keeping 
Track of foreigners, tourists 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 12 (PIA)—As of June 2018, the Bohol Filed Office of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) records only 491 registered aliens here who are holding various immigrant or non-immigrant visas. 

Tracking foreigners not only allows the government to know their whereabouts, it also protects them while making sure they too are not committing any acts that are deemed illegal to their country of sojourn. 

Lawyer and BI Bohol Field Office confidential agent Valerie Ann Narona also shared her belief that there are more foreigners staying here who are not documented. 

Many Boholanos still do not know there is an immigration office in Bohol, BI agent Narona admitted. 

The BI acts as the primary enforcement arm of the Department of Justice and the President of the Philippines and ensures that all foreigners within its territorial jurisdiction comply with existing laws, as it assists local and international law enforcement agencies in securing the peace of the state against foreigners whose presence may be deemed threat to national security, public safety, public morals and public health. 

The BI also acts as chief repository of all immigration records pertaining to entry, temporary sojourn, admission, residence and departure of all foreigners in the country. 

But owing to its field office status, the BI in Bohol is manned by a very force of confidential agents and a chief, who are covering for the thousands of foreign tourists who, upon seeing Bohol, decide to stay here for good. 

While Bohol could not say no right away to incoming tourists, experience from other places which are becoming tourist destinations also show that illegal tourists, criminals and those feeling the law in their countries as well as terrorists get in in the guise of tourists. 

Last June 13 for example, the BI in Bohol, by virtue of a mission order, arrested a Korean fugitive who fled Korea after learning of a warrant of arrest against him for fraud. The suspect rented an apartment in Guindulman, where he hid, until the BI received the mission order and implemented such. 

Atty. Narona also reported that in the country, from January to June, 45 foreign nationals with visas have been tagged for fraud and economic crimes in their respective countries. 

The number however pales in comparison to the 153 aliens here who are tagged for cybercrimes like voice phising, online gambling; 10 for sexual offenses, assault and abuse. 

At least, the BI also notes foreigners with cases of being national threat, two for terrorism, illegal substances and still more offenses which they evaded in their countries. 

But Narona reported to the Provincial Peace and Order Council that their office has only very few personnel plus four contractual confidential agents. 

Incapacitated by their number and the sheer number of foreign nationals coming in, the BI then recommends for Bohol to adopt a system of reporting foreigners, this would involve local government units and law enforcement agents in the communities to do the legwork. 

The same recommendation was earlier proposed by PSSupt Angeles GeƱorga which mulls to require all hospitality establishments to ask all their guests proper identification. 

Foreign guests must present their passports and passports should be photographed and recorded, copies to be submitted to the Police, BI and other concerned agencies, suggested Bohol Police chief. 

The BI suggested a reportorial from local government units on presence of foreign nationals, temporary or permanent, in their localities, with cooperation of private business owners, so that BI can keep track of whoever are here. 

The reportorial system, which may be web based or an email system of reporting would also pave way to mapping and creation of alien database staying in Bohol and their whereabouts, BI said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)