PCCI asks banks, other financial institutions for longer loan extension

11 May 2020 - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the country’s largest business organization, is asking banks and other non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) for an extension of loan maturities that are due between March 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020, for at least one (1) year to help firms survive the lockdown and the suspension of business operation, which have been in effect for almost two (2) months now.

 

In a statement, PCCI President Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico shared the growing concern of PCCI members on their “deteriorating cash positions and diminishing ability to avoid massive lay-offs” due to the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

 

“The ECQ has brought substantially all businesses to a sudden and unexpected stop.  Many are now facing economic distress, forcing them to resort to drastic cost-cutting, lay-offs and pay cuts.  Even as the government slowly relaxes the quarantine measures, we expect that the effects of this crisis will continue to be felt and that businesses will continue to struggle through the end of 2020,” Yujuico said.

 

Appealing for the support of banks and NBFIs, PCCI pointed out that industries, micro, small, medium, and even large companies are straining to preserve their liquidity and cover even the most basic operating expenses.

 

“Creditor willingness to restructure loans maturing in 2020 will most certainly go a long way toward preserving employment, and averting permanent closure of many long-time clients and “partners” of banks.  Without the support of Philippine banks and other NBFIs, many businesses will likely be forced to shut down,” Yujuico appealed.

 

PCCI listed the following industries that are greatly at risk:

 

1.      Transportation, Logistics, and Storage. Air, land, and water transport due to continued restriction of flights and/or trips.

2.      Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles.  Retailers (such as department stores, petroleum outlets, and other retail stores not classified as essential) as these businesses are likely to be restricted even post-ECQ.  Sales would likely be subdued as consumers will prioritize essential items and many restrictions might be imposed by the government post-lockdown.  Many consumers are likely to choose to continue to quarantine themselves.  Retail petroleum will also be at high risk due to the collapse in oil prices and lower demand

3.      Arts, Entertainment, Leisure, and Recreation.  Leisure related sub-industries (Gambling and Betting Activities, Sports Activities and Amusement and Recreation Activities) due as social distancing and stay-at-home orders for most would likely continue after the ECQ.

4.      Hotels, Resorts, Other Types of Accommodation and Food Services Activities as social distancing and stay-at-home orders for most would continue after the ECQ and these will remain closed.

5.      Real Estate Activities especially those heavily engaged in leisure related sectors and targeting the low-income segment.

6.      Mining and Quarrying.  The Extraction of Crude Petroleum and Natural Gas sub-industry (and related Mining Support Service Activities) due to the collapse in oil prices and lower demand.

7.      Manufacturing.  Sub-industries engaged in discretionary products due to the lower share of wallet from consumers who would likely prioritize essential items:

 

  • Manufacture of Textiles, Manufacture of Wearing Apparel, Manufacture of Leather and Related Products.

  • Manufacture of Coke and Refined Petroleum Products due to the collapse in oil prices and lower demand.

  • Manufacture of Motor Vehicles, Trailers and Semi-trailers and Manufacture of Other Transport Equipment may be at high risk as limited movement may still prevail even after the end of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)

8. Construction.  All sub-industries.  Construction business, for most, have stopped during the ECQ.  After the lockdown, there will be winners and losers as the government may shift the priorities for its infrastructure program.  Many real estate companies have scaled down project launches this year.

 

9.    Financial and Insurance Activities.  Insurance companies with substantial exposure to personal/health depending on the magnitude of the COVID-19 deaths/hospitalization.

10.  Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities. 

 

  • Architecture and Engineering Activities; Technical Testing and Analysis sub-industry may be at high risk due to likely slowdown in construction activities.

  • Advertising and Market Research may be at high risk due to cost cutting initiatives of most companies.

 

11.  Administrative and Support Services Activities.  Related sub-industries, such as Travel Agency, Tour Operator, Reservation Service and Related Activities, due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

12.  Other Community, Social & Personal Activities.  Related sub-industries are at high risk due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders for most would continue after the ECQ.

 

PCCI expressed hope that its proposal will be considered to mitigate the potentially fatal effects that COVID-19 is having on many business enterprises.

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