MANILA - Several business groups have asked state-run Pag-IBIG to condone penalties for entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and were unable to remit employees' savings for the past 2 years.
Businesses applying for penalty condonation should also be given a longer payment plan to settle all obligations, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) said in a letter to Pag-IBIG CEO Acmad Rizaldy Moti.
"In the spirit of helping employers recover from the effects of this pandemic, it is our earnest desire to be of assistance to our stakeholders in the myriad of burdens that they are facing during this time of national health crisis," the groups said in the joint letter.
"We are requesting from your good office to extend help in easing the burden of Filipino business owners who were affected by the pandemic by offering a penalty condonation program for businesses who failed to remit their employees’ savings within the past two (2) years," the letter said.
Some 35,049 establishments nationwide have closed permanently since 2020, which resulted in 710,417 displaced workers, the groups said.
Extending the same consideration to companies with outstanding penalties prior to 2020 will also help businesses stay afloat during the pandemic, the letter said.
Businesses have suffered from the COVID-19 outbreak and the restrictions that were implemented to prevent its spread.
Based on government estimates, the economy could lose P150 billion each week that Metro Manila is under hard lockdown, where only essential businesses were allowed to operate.
Metro Manila is under MECQ or modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 15.