PGMA 'very concerned' over fate of pre-need plan holders - Remonde
Manila (6 February) -- Malacanang said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is "very concerned" over the fate of the victims of the collapse of some pre-need firms, especially the future of children whose education rested solely on the viability of their parents' investments in pre-need plans.
In an interview with radio RMN-DZXL, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said the problems besetting the pre-need industry would need the President's priority attention when she arrives from her trip abroad.
"Malacanang will do everything possible to help the distressed pre-need plan-holders," Remonde assured.
"We just have to wait for the President to arrive, but definitely she is very concerned," he said.
He said that the lost investments in the pre-need plans were the "sweat and blood" of people upon whose hopes of sending their children to school depended.
Officers of the pre-need firms have been undergoing intense grilling at the Senate over the alleged anomalous business practices in the beleaguered industry.
Officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have also been denounced in the Senate hearings for their failure to check the anomalous practices of the pre-need firms.
The government entity that supervises the operations of pre-need companies, SEC has been accused of failing to protect the plan-holders from the illegal practices of the pre-need firms.
SEC officials, however, said the government agency has limited powers over the operations of the pre-need firms. "In fairness to SEC chair (Fe) Barin, they have articulated that SEC has limited "regulatory powers over pre-need companies," Remonde said.
He said Malacanang has taken preliminary steps to assist distraught plan holders by putting up an assistance desk at the SEC building. (PIA-MMIO) [top]