GSIS stops housing loans while it tries to collect P11B | Inquirer News
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GSIS stops housing loans while it tries to collect P11B

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 05:23 AM May 11, 2011

BACOLOD CITY—The Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) has put its housing loan program on hold as it is faced with total unpaid loans of P11 billion for 17,000 house-and-lot packages nationwide.

“The GSIS means business in protecting the resources of its stakeholders, which may have been abused in the past,” said its chair, Daniel Lacson Jr.

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“The current board and administration have decided to immediately stop additional housing loans until a comprehensive policy and program can be introduced to dispose of all the non-performing assets amounting to P11 billion or more,” Lacson told the Inquirer Sunday.

He said the 17,000 properties were now with the GSIS asset and disposal management group for disposal.

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The GSIS has been providing housing loans since 1954 and over the years has come up with different programs, Lacson said.

In the beginning, the GSIS provided loans to members only but later it began extending loans to developers and then got involved in real estate development, buying land and building houses and selling these as house-and-lot packages, Lacson explained.

In a report to the GSIS board, consultant Mel Alonso said the GSIS did not have adequate manpower to support its various financing activities, which resulted in its failure to collect payments.

The GSIS could dispose of its assets through government agencies engaged in housing programs, banks or private developers, Alonso said.

“In short, the board wants closure in terms of policy with regard to the housing program as well as other activities of the GSIS currently having difficulties,” he said.

The GSIS, meanwhile, has foreclosed on a 5-hectare private cemetery in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental, following its owner’s failure to pay a P17-million loan, Lacson said.

The estate of Jose and Rosario Echauz used the P17 million loan obtained in 1999 to develop the property.

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When it was granted the loan, the Echauz estate promised to create a corporation with a paid-up capital of P25 million but when it registered the firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the paid-up capital was only P312,500, Lacson said.

He said the Echauz estate failed to repay a single centavo of the loan.

In 2001, the GSIS filed for foreclosure of the cemetery but the borrower filed counter complaints, Lacson said.

Finally, a new title to the property was issued in favor of the GSIS in October 2009, Lacson said.

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