PCCI lauds signing of FIST Act to support distressed companies

Backs lifting of restrictions to boost recovery

18 February 2020 - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business organization in the country, lauds the enactment of the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer (FIST) Act, a measure that President Rodrigo Duterte, in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year said is a key component of government’s plan to recover from the pandemic-induced crisis.

“The PCCI is one with the business community in acknowledging Congress for passing the measure and President Duterte for signing the bill into law.  The pandemic has affected businesses across all sizes and economic sectors, including banks with higher-than-expected credit losses.  The FIST law will not only clear banks of bad loans but also improve their liquidity, enabling them to help rehabilitate distressed businesses and support the economic recovery,” PCCI President Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico said.

Yujuico added that while the measure could benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs), he shared the call of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), to transition to Modified General Community Quarantine to stem further economic decline and help businesses regain lost grounds.

“The assurance of a steady source of credit for businesses will only sustain to their recovery if establishments and public transport are allowed to operate at higher capacity, if restrictions on the movement of people is lifted and consumer confidence is boosted,” Yujuico explained.

The Philippines’ economic growth has been sustained by a strong domestic consumption.  Economic recovery must be geared towards rebuilding consumer confidence to ensure that the cycle of consumption will continue.  Improved consumer confidence stimulates demand which in turn protects existing jobs and leads to the creation of new jobs.