GIVINGBACK TO THE PEOPLE
As the GSIS faces potential challenges, Acting President and General Manager Macasaet vows to stand by their commitment.
BY GODFREY DANCEL
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RENJIE TOLENTINO
Mahal ko ang bayan ko. Mahal na mahal ko ang bayan ko. (I love my country. I love my country so much).” This statement sums up the reason why Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) chairman and concurrent acting president and general manager (APGM) Rolando Ledesma Macasaet is in government service.
APGM Macasaet’s passion to serve the people has proven to be a perfect fit for GSIS, especially with its slogan “Maasahan ng Lingkod-bayan” (“Can be Relied Upon by Public Servants”).
IN THE SERVICE OF PUBLIC SERVANTS
APGM Macasaet’s professional life revolves around giving
back at present.
“I stayed in the States for five years. I worked there, I studied there. I stayed in Singapore for three years. I stayed in Vancouver. But all throughout my entire career, I always wanted to come back. There were times when I wanted to stay in the US but my mind was always in the Philippines. Probably it’s the UP training,” he says.
APGM Macasaet could very well have stayed abroad and enjoyed a luxurious life, but there was always the
GSIS top executive Rolando Ledesma Macasaet speaks on the biggest break in his career and why he has chosen to remain in government service even as better opportunities await him elsewhere. yearning to come back to the country and serve the people. After all, he says that his “biggest break” came because he is from the University of the Philippines (UP). Somewhere within this Business Economics (cum laude) graduate from UP Diliman always rang the message “Serve the people.”
At age 21, APGM Macasaet was among a group of management trainees at Philippine National Bank
(PNB)—then still a government financial institution— who earned the trust of one-time Finance Secretary
Ed Espiritu. Then head of the UP Alumni Association, Espiritu sought out UP alumni working at the PNB
head office and trained them to become the bank’s next leaders. As the young Macasaet proved his mettle, he quickly rose to the bank’s top hierarchy. He eventually became Vice President for Credit, and Vice President in charge of Asia, among others.
After his stint at PNB, APGM Macasaet held key positions in various government-owned and controlled
corporations (GOCCs), including Philippine National Construction Corporation and Skyway Corporation;
and private institutions like Bank of Commerce, PCI Bank, and San Miguel Corporation. He also served as Director of the Asian Infrastructure and Development Bank, which is China’s version of the World Bank
and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
APGM Macasaet’s wide experience in the financial sector made him a perfect fit to head GSIS. It thus came as no surprise when he was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Trustees in 2018 and as
Acting President and General Manager a year after.
BEYOND FINANCIAL MATTERS
GSIS is the social insurance institution that insures government employees against certain contingencies
in exchange for their monthly premium contributions. It provides a principal benefit package consisting
of compulsory and optional life insurance, retirement, separation, and employee’s compensation benefits.
It also offers various loan products, namely, Enhanced Consolidated Salary Loan (ConsoLoan) Plus,
Policy Loan, Enhanced Emergency Loan, Pension Loan, and Pensioners Emergency Loan.
One program that shows GSIS’ sensitivity to the plight of its members is the recently-launched GSIS
Financial Assistance Loan (GFAL) program. It is a balance-transfer and debt-consolidation facility that aims to help active GSIS members settle their outstanding loan obligations with lending institutions.