By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) and the Department of Education (DepEd) that will facilitate the payment of loans of teachers and DepEd personnel from private lenders, through a loan facility from the GSIS.
While admitting to not having read the draft of the document, Duterte said he was elated because the agreement would help ease the burden of teachers.
“Itong i-buy-out ninyo ‘yung obligasyon (You buying out the obligation), it’s good. I just don’t know the percentage of the beneficiaries,” he said after witnessing the signing in Malacañang Monday afternoon.
“Kung ako lang, kaya ninyo bilhin lahat, bilhin ninyo e. ‘Yun talaga ang bane ng teachers at sundalo (If it were up to me, if you can shoulder everything you go ahead and do it. That is really the bane of teachers and soldiers),” he added.
However, Duterte asked to cut the feed of the broadcast as he proceeded to discuss other matters concerning the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“Can you cut the crap? I don’t want everybody to eavesdrop,” Duterte addressed the camera crew, leaving only a few seconds before the broadcast was cut.
The signing was only open to state-run PTV-4 and was broadcast over the network, and other Facebook pages of Malacañang through the Radio-Television Malacañang (RTVM).
In a statement, GSIS President and General Manager Jesus Clint Aranas said that loans weaken the teachers’ capability to settle their obligations which include their monthly GSIS premiums and contributions.
“We don’t want DepEd employees to sink deep into debt, so we have proposed a better way for them to manage their finances. The borrowers will pay back the loan to GSIS at easy and affordable terms,” he said.
The GSIS statement said that qualified borrowers may borrow up to P500,000, “provided their take-home pay will not go lower than P5,000 their monthly obligations have been deducted.”