House to inquire into pre-need firms
The Philippine Star
By Jess Diaz
Updated January 26, 2009 05:08 PM
MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives will conduct an inquiry into the state of pre-need companies, which are business entities selling education and pension plans and similar products.
The inquiry was prompted by a resolution filed by several members of the House minority led by Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casino.
“There is a need to look at the pre-need industry so we can propose measures to protect hundreds of thousands of plan holders,” Casino said.
He said despite the failure of College Assurance Plan Inc. (CAP) three or four years ago, the government was unable to prevent other pre-need companies from collapsing.
He said the closure of several pre-need firms has left plan holders holding onto a proverbial empty bag.
Just three weeks ago, three pre-need companies belonging to the Legacy group closed shop after the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) padlocked the group’s 12 rural banks for alleged unsound banking practices.
Legacy plan holders now do not know what to do with their plans. Many of them are filing complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Lawmakers have urged the authorities to apply the full force of the law on Legacy owners led by politician-businessman Celso delos Angeles.
Casino said the inquiry would also look into the failure of BSP and SEC to protect the public.
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