Duterte okays Macasaet nomination as GSIS chief
MANILA, Philippines–After eight months of heading the state-run pension fund Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in acting capacity, Rolando L. Macasaet is expected to assume the position of president and general manager upon President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval, the Inquirer has learned.
In a March 6 letter from the Office of the President obtained by the Inquirer, Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea told the GSIS’s board of trustees that “President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has approved the nomination of Mr. Rolando Ledesma Macasaet as president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System.”
Furnished with copies of the letter were Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG) Chairperson Samuel G. Dagpin Jr.
But Medialdea’s letter to the GSIS board, which was now chaired by former Supreme Court chief justice Lucas Bersamin, fell short of saying the President already appointed Macasaet to the pension fund’s top management post.
When Bersamin was appointed as GSIS chair last month, Macasaet remained the acting president and general manager.
Macasaet first joined the GSIS as chair in June 2018 when he replaced Francisco Duque III after the latter was appointed Department of Health (DOH) Secretary.
When former president and general manager Jesus Clint Aranas resigned from the GSIS following a falling out with President Duterte due to the plan to sell the Manila International Port Terminal Inc. property currently occupied by Enrique Razon-led International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), Macasaet initially took over as officer-in-charge on July 4 last year.
Under officer-in-charge Macasaet, the GSIS revoked earlier board resolutions approved during Aranas’ watch that authorized the sale of the ICTSI-Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) property “until further review and consultation with all concerned stakeholders.”
ICTSI had claimed the GSIS had “at most, only a naked title” to the disputed 67-hectare land.
Documents obtained by the Inquirer showed that a resolution of the GSIS board of trustees last July 30, 2019 installed Macasaet as acting president and general manager “in accordance with the instruction“ of Dominguez, who heads the Duterte administration’s economic team.
The GSIS board also approved to provide Macasaet, as acting president and general manager, with the monthly salary of the former president and general manager at Salary Grade 31 Step 5.
Also, Macasaet enjoyed since July last year “all the other benefits of an employee of GSIS, such as qualification to receive incentives and bonuses and membership in GSIS and the GSIS provident fund, subject to deduction of the required contributions.”
The approval of Macasaet’s designation as acting president and general manager alongside the bigger compensation and benefits were signed by the following members of the GSIS’s board: trustees Wilfredo Maldia, Jocelyn de Guzman Cabreza, Alan Luga, Nina Ricci Ynares-Chongbian, Anthony Sasin, Kahar Macasayon, and Carlo Antonio Almirante.
While then chairman of the board, Macasaet did not participate in the July 30 board meeting as the vote concerned his new position.
In a Sept. 4 letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Inquirer, Medialdea told Dominguez that President Duterte confirmed Macasaet’s designation as acting president and general manager—two months after Aranas’ resignation.
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