The pandemic has virtually sucked out the spirit and resources of many Filipinos. Millions are unemployed because many businesses are unable to sustain their operations. Worse, the outlook is bleak as more companies are laying off employees to preserve what is left of their operation.
For the few lucky ones, they can count on their investments to tide them over during this crippling pandemic. Their hard-earned investments, so to speak, are either producing returns or giving them relief during these trying times. Being liquid through cash, or investments that can be easily be liquified, is an advantage.
Cash, in short, is king. One has to possess the wherewithal to pay for food, medicines and other basic necessities. When one has extra cash, it can help cushion the impact of unexpected expenses, like medical emergencies and urgent house repairs. It can also ease up the burden of having to stock up on basic commodities and household supplies, as well as to deal with the loss of income due to unemployment or pay cut.
If one is lucky, he can rely on a pre-need company. PhilPlans, like all companies, never saw the pandemic coming, although it is one of the country’s biggest pre-need firms and the only one that sells education, pension and memorial plans at the same time. It is among the leaders in each category.
PhilPlans continues to keep in touch with the needs of clients and understands the needs of its many planholders for their various needs, especially in this time of medical and financial crisis. It has started launching programs for planholders to make them more liquid this time.
By being liquid amid a crisis, planholders are still able to continue their way of living following a job loss and while seeking new job opportunities. They can also provide for the education needs of their children or for other emergencies that may arise.
PhilPlans is now offering C.A.R.E. (COVID-19 Assistance, Relief, and Emergency. It gives qualified planholders quick and easy funds they need during the lockdown period without waiting for their plan’s maturity.
Another option from PhilPlans is ECQ Emergency Fund. This allows planholders to loan funds through their paid-up education and pension plans.
The third is an education lump sum payment program, in which planholders are offered one-time lump sum payment, instead of waiting for months before receiving the education benefits.
PhilPlans is also offering plan termination value (PTV) and Pre-maturity benefit (PMB) availments, where funds are released to qualified planholders before the dates of their plans’ terminations and maturities, respectively.
PhiPlans as of end-December last year has processed P3.92 billion worth of applications for over 17,000 planholders who availed of the cash programs. The company, in addition, has given out P624 million for over 12,500 education planholders and P426 million for over 4,700 pension and life planholders.
The values may be small compared to the billions or trillions needed to get the economy back to pre-pandemic levels, but each payout is of great value to families that need the extra cash to keep them going amid the crisis.
PhilPlans, like many firms, has to be creative to ride out the health crisis. The financial sector is not exempt from the damage wreaked by COVID-19 on the economy. Big banks had to set aside huge loan-loss provisions that ate into their profits, after many clients took a hit with the huge drop in consumer demand. Pre-need companies, meanwhile, are shell-shocked to this day as investments in several financial instruments failed to provide the anticipated revenue streams.
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