MANILA - Filipinos should keep their discipline with money, notwithstanding uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic that put the global economy in the freezer, analysts and officials said.
Money saved from 30-day grace periods on loans and bills should be set aside to settle the same payables when they are due, said financial adviser and host of ANC's On the Money, Salve Duplito.
"Do not lose the discipline just because these are crazy times. Masakit na nga sa ulo ang pandemic, dagdagan pa ng financial problem. Wag ganun," she told ABS-CBN News.
(Don't add financial problem to this pandemic headache.)
People can take advantage of extended due dates but should pay in full before the new deadline, she said. Money saved from grace periods can be used as extra liquidity only when the situation worsens, she said.
"While the economy seems to be on pause, you don't want to be hit with high interest payments that are avoidable in times like this," she said.
President Rodrigo Duterte extended the 1-month lockdown of millions in Luzon by 18 days, ending on April 30. With this, some loans, with due dates within the additional 18 days also get 30-day grace periods.
Duplito said Filipinos should stick to their payment schedules if their emergency funds allow it and if their employers commit to paying them in full during the lockdown.
"This is the time to budget wisely. Don't add interest payments to your problems," she said.
"If you don't pay, you will be charged interest when the debt does need to be paid down the line, plus worry about what to eat," she said.
Bangko Sentral Managing Director Pia Tayag also advised Filipinos to pay when they can.
"If kaya naman, and you can do it electronically, it's better to pay," she said.