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SEC urges lending, financing companies to extend debt relief to borrowers

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz - Correspondent/CDN Digital | March 24,2020 - 11:48 AM

CEBU CITY—The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urges all lending and financing companies to implement debt relief measures to their borrowers.

The commission came up with this suggestion in a notice it issued on March 23 that was posted on its website.

“Due to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is strongly encouraging all lending and financing companies to adopt measures that will help borrowers cope with the negative impacts brought by the outbreak,” the notice reads.

SEC suggested several debt relief measures that financing and lending companies could adopt.

These include lowering of interest rates; waiver or reduction of penalties, charges, and other fees; loan term extension; suspension of collection; payment holiday; and debt consolidation.

Financing and lending companies could also develop and implement their own programs or schemes that will provide financial relief to their borrowers, the SEC said.

The SEC, through its Corporate Governance and Finance Department (CGFD), is communicating directly with financing and lending companies, which have been the subject of numerous complaints from the public, to urge them to adopt schemes that will help their borrowers.

“We call on financing and lending companies to adopt all possible measures that will help ease the burden of their borrowers amid this public health emergency, which has disrupted the everyday lives of Filipinos, including their livelihoods,” SEC chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

Already, a number of financing and lending companies have already adopted debt relief measures.

For one, the Philippine Finance Association has informed the Commission that at least 18 of its members have allowed the extension of payment deadlines, without penalties and fees, for borrowers. / dcb

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