PCCI reiterates call for relief to borrowers
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest umbrella of business organizations in the country is reiterating its call on banks and other financing institutions to grant temporary but indispensable relief to borrowers hardest hit by the pandemic through voluntary and negotiated loan term extension or restructuring.
Commending the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) support for the Chamber’s proposal, PCCI President, Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico urged the BSP to incentivize lenders to adopt the approach of deferring or restructuring loans principal repayments for individual and corporate borrowers already heavily burdened by the effects of the prolonged community quarantines upon mutually acceptable and reasonable terms and conditions.
Rather than making loan deferments or restructuring prescriptive and mandatory, Yujuico called on the BSP to consider the grant of regulatory relief measures such as the relaxation of rules on loan loss provisioning and staggered booking of loan loss provisions as proposed in House Bill No. 6815, the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill.
Yujuico said, “The key to obtaining relief for our members is for the BSP to encourage and help banks to be able to support the businesses and industries hardest hit by the pandemic.”
Reiterating the PCCI and the entire business community’s support to the ARISE’s provision to extend loan terms for a period of one to two years, Yujuico urged the banking sector to provide businesses more breathing room to help support trade and industry survive the pandemic.
“We are calling on the banks to review their guidelines with a request to align with the ARISE to allow longer payment extensions so that they can respond appropriately to the big negative impact of the pandemic on many borrowers,” Yujuico said.
Stressing that these are the same companies providing a steady stream of revenue during the good times, Yujuico appealed to the banks and other financing institutions to help revive businesses and get the Philippine economy to move forward.
During the lockdown, many member companies of the PCCI were unable to generate enough revenues to service their debts to banks. The willingness of bank to restructure loan, Yujuico said, will breathe life back into businesses and preserve employment.
The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) has earlier responded to the plea of the business sector for longer extension on loan maturities due this year saying that banks will make their own decisions on loan relief depending on the circumstances between the borrower and the creditor. In a letter to PCCI, BAP President, Mr. Cesar Consing said that banks will be more constructive and supportive of their business borrowers considering that a lot of businesses are non-operational due to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
BAP President Cesar Consing’s response letter is attached.