THE country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), is asking banks and other financial institutions to extend loan maturity for enterprises for at least one year for them to be able to recover from the impact of the community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) outbreak.
In a statement Monday, PCCI said the extension should include loans due between March 16, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico said the business group’s members have a growing concern on their “deteriorating cash positions and diminishing ability to avoid massive lay-offs” as most businesses are closed during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that started in mid-March.
“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.
He added a loan extension for at least a year will go a long way to preserve employment and averting permanent closure of businesses, which are clients and partners of banks and the non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs).
“Without the support of Philippine banks and other NBFIs, many businesses will likely be forced to shut down,” the PCCI chief added.
Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) regions, where a large percentage of businesses are located, have been placed under ECQ for two months. (PNA)
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