by Louella Desiderio – The Philippine Star, 22 Sep 2021
MANILA, Philippines — Employer groups yesterday lauded the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) for approving the lifting of penalties on companies unable to remit employees’ savings in the last two years to help businesses reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
In a statement, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) welcomed the approval of the request made by the groups for penalty condonation.
“We take this opportunity to extend to the Pag-IBIG management our gratitude for its unrelenting support and drive to sustain the economy by promoting the welfare of the entire business community,” ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said.
“This development will help our already struggling businesses to stay afloat and ensure that the employees will continue to avail of Pag-IBIG benefits,” he added.
Following the approval of Pag-IBIG management, the decision would be endorsed to the board, which is set to meet within the month.
During an interview with ANC, Pag-IBIG chief executive officer Acmad Rizaldy Moti said the management has also considered the request of the three groups for a longer payment plan should certain businesses be unable to pay within the next six months.
He also said the Pag-IBIG values its working relationship with employer organizations, especially ECOP, PCCI and Philexport.
He said the waived penalties have reached around P868 million on membership savings amounting to P4 billion from March 2020 to May 2021.
Earlier this month, Ortiz-Luis, PCCI acting president Edgardo Lacson and Philexport chairman George Barcelon signed a joint letter addressed to Moti to request for penalty condonation to help businesses that have been facing challenges due to the pandemic.
The groups said a total 35,049 establishments nationwide have filed for permanent closure since last year, displacing 710,417 workers.