• Melo Acuna

Filipino workers need to be extended concessional loans

Concessional loans for Filipino workers urged

MANILA - As COVID-19 continues to cut across social classes with the strict enhanced community quarantine popularly known as ECQ, it is imperative for the government to assist the country’s working class.

Kusog Bicolandia’s chairman emeritus Noel de Luna said interest-free loans with at least six months to a year’s grace period and payable five to ten years need to be extended to GSIS, SSS and PAG-IBIG members to sustain their basic requirements.

In a statement datelined Naga City at midday today, De Luna said the government’s response to the country’s poorest of the poor is more than laudable for them to survive the crisis. However, he added the Filipino workers need to access concessional loans equivalent to two months of their salaries. He explained Filipino workers are on the verge of utilizing their lifelong savings to tide over their daily needs.

“The Filipino workers, as taxpayers as they are, deserve all the possible help from the government,” De Luna further said.

The P200 billion fund that the government will extend to the 18 million poor families will make a dent to the nation’s coffers. No less than Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said they have considered foreign loans from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to augment the government’s resources for the needed health facilities. He even went further to say they have resort to private commercial institutions for additional funds.

“It is likely that a certain portion of these additional funds be utilized as interest-free loans for the working class,” De Luna said. He suggested that GSIS, SSS and PAGIBIG, all government-owned and controlled corporations, syndicate a loan window for their members and extend loans worth two-month salary or pension regardless of employment status and outstanding loan balance.

He explained this is not a dole-out and will not necessitate new fund allocations. GSIS, SSS and PAGIBIG may ask other banks or even multi-lateral institutions such as ADB and World Bank to grant them interest-free humanitarian long-term loan for this purpose.

He called on the country’s economic managers to seriously consider his suggestion to alleviate the plight of the working class from clasrooml teachers to office workers and BPO staff. (Melo M. Acuña)

Kusog Bicolandia Chairman Emeritus Noel De Luna (Rhaydz Barcia Photo)

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