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Fil C. Sionil

Fil C. Sionil

The number of reserve work force spikes has been buoyed by the increased distribution of pink slips. Others are left with nothing to look forward to because of outright closure of operations due to the pandemic. Others, luckier as owners of the business establishments, are trying to save their company through loan restructuring.

These three scenarios are happening in the aftermath of the government easing up on the lockdown. It’s distressing to observe that in a survey around the Central Business District of Makati, small enterprises like the friendly, neighborhood Laundromat, the wall cafĂ© serving dark moist chocolate cake, the money exchange outlet, beauty salons, convenience store Mini Stop remained close. Mercury Drug, Pan de Manila bakeshop, 7-11, shops, continue operating even during the ECQ.

“It’s a case-to-case basis. It is not rewarding for both parties to go on restructuring ” was the reply given me by East West President and Chief Operating Officer Antonio Moncupa on House Bill 6815, the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy of the Philippines (ARISE), which House of Representatives passed on third and final reading.

ARISE is the second stimulus package this government is asking of Congress to pass. It is P1.3 trillion that could economic recovery.

The reservation stemmed from the provision that states fast-track that banks and other financing companies are encouraged to extend the term or agree to the restructuring of existing consumer loans of employees, commercial loans, and local government units that fall due between March 16, 2020, and December 31, 2020. The loan terms may be extended for up to two years while only the principal payment may be suspended in case of a moratorium.

“We’re already doing restructuring. But it is a case-to-case basis. It is not to our best interest to see our clients closing shop,” explained Mr. Moncopa, vice president of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP).

BPI and BAP President Cesar Consing, in one of his interviews this week, was quoted as saying that moving forward, there could be legal implications with banks on the shorter end of the deal if this provision is included. “It’s either allow or not… encourage would cause problems. Most banks are doing a lot in helping.”
Restructuring is at work as banks still continue to adhere to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act where interest rates and loan requirements haven’t been reset to pre-pandemic. Banks, to this end, need to be given room to adjust as they see fit rather than giving the incessant requests of businesses.
Heard these latest two developments: Former Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma is set to join the Monetary Board following the expiration next Friday of the term of MB member and my neighbor, Across-the-Board columnist Jun de Zuniga.

Finance Assistance Secretary Tony Lambino’s transfer to the BSP as managing director of the corporate affairs office (CORAO) hangs because of the non-movement of Package 2 of the CTRP, one of the fallout of the pandemic. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez agreed to a transfer to a more permanent portfolio compared to his co-terminos position, provided the second CTRP package will be passed into law. Acting Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Karl Chua and Lambino were CTRP’s poster boys.

As of yesterday, the Smokey Mountain fame has yet to get the green light to cross the third floor bridge, swooning “Anak ng Pasig.” Despite this, effective next month, acting CORAO MD Rosabel “Bong” Guerrero will head the newly created Regional District Office. Under the re-organized set-up CORAO’s operations have been split into two- corporate affairs, special events and other related services. Director Jay Amatong heads one and Acting Director Elisha Garcia-Lirios handles the corporate communication side.

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Source: Manila Bulletin (

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