Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Call for Calm, Transparency, Dialogue and Accountability in the Ongoing Pre-Need Industry Fiasco

22 April 2009

Just before I leave off for work, I would like to make this public request to SEC Chairman Fe Barin to immediately convene a meeting among stakeholders of distressed pre-need companies like Prudentialife, Permanent and others.  

By stakeholders, I mean the owners or stockholders like Mr. Jose Alberto T. Alba of Prudentialife Plans, the officers and employees of these companies, the hundreds of thousands of planholders who have invested their lives' savings in buying these pre-need plans, the SEC, the media and whoever else is interested in bringing sanity to the pre-need industry. 

Planholders in particular would like to see the companies where they've invested so much money get up again and resume near-normal operations. We won't have a chance to do that if the SEC will not open the forum or venue for the stakeholders to come together and discuss how they can protect their own respective interests.  The owners like Mr. Alba should come up with hard facts not soothing promises.
We cannot allow a situation wherein only the SEC and the company owners know what's really going on.  Public interest requires that planholders be given the same information that, at the moment, only the regulators and the owners know.  The debacles at CAP, Pacific and Legacy should not be allowed to happen again! Even here, the TRINA Benchmark should apply. 

If Chairman Barin and the other SEC Commissioners cannot, or will not do this, then they should all really step down from their posts as strongly suggested by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.  

Planholders, don't lose hope!  God is in control!

If you want to share your thoughts, please leave your comments or send me a message at rollyocampo@yahoo.com.

More on this when I return.


  1. In this financial crisis we are facing now especially the present economic condition SEC should be responsible not to cause any panic to thousands plan holders .The government one way or the other should focus on how these pre need companies will be able to survive during this trying times.As the balance of spending and investing narrow down to a very low levels soon enough the economy of the Philippines will not be be different to other countries who suffered much on the effect of the global crisis. Instead of causing panic to the plan holders , debating on charter change and other irrelevant issues.The government should think of better options to uplift the Spirit and the minds of the Filipino people towards strong belief to God , offering ways to survive in the present economies hardships . GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES

  2. I definitely agree with the points you've raised. Instead of focusing on how the pre-need firms can survive and recover, the SEC is just letting the people remain in the dark, confused, and prone to panic. The situation will quickly deteriorate if we allow this to continue.

    Let's ask Chairman Fe Barin and the SEC Commissioners to resign. Also, let's ask the pre-need firm owners like Mr. Alba of Prudentialife to come out in the open and answer planholders' question directly.

    More importantly, all affected planholders should form one big group to better protect their interest.

  3. April 22 anonymous comments part 2
    Greetings .
    Im a prudentialife plan holder and i visited the Prudentialife office near our place to inquire on the big news that cause more plan holders to panic .No lines so i was able to ask everything i have to know . The staff are courteous and kind and provided me with all necessary papers i needed. I met a neighbor who was able to get a loan from her education plan and she was there to pay her obligations. When i ask about the company's status they admitted only their license to sell pre-need plans is revoked but there are more services they can provide and the process on paying and lending to plan holders will continue . It is just a matter of choice whether you want to loan or completely terminate your plan . It was always apt to you to decide .....So goodluck im still thinking what to do with my plan ..more when i return ...GOD BLESSS!!!!!!

  4. I'm glad to know that some of your confidence in Prudentialife has returned. And you know why?

    It's because they answered all of your questions and as you said, "i was able to ask everything i have to know." That's what transparency does. It lifts the haze and confusion thus bringing about a return of confidence and trust.

    That's what we want to happen with the pre-need industry but on a larger scale. If a branch of Prudentialife can open itself up to answer questions to ease the concerns of one planholder, can not its President, Mr. Jose Alberto Alba, whose personal, face-to-face assurances can soothe the worries of tens of thousands of planholders?

    And that will only happen if the SEC Chairman will have the sense and concern to convene a dialogue among the stakeholders of the pre-need industry. Not just for Prudentialife but for the other pre-need companies like Permanent Plans that also appear to be in trouble.

    That's what we want to happen here. We would like to have answers to as many questions as there are so that the solutions we seek can be obtained with the least amount of confusion and worry to the distressed planholders.

    Thank you and I'm really glad to have this ongoing discussion with you. God bless!

  5. I agree that there should be a venue to convene the various stakeholders so that everybody understands what the real issue is and what are the possible courses of action a planholder may take.

    For the general public, "mark-to-market", trust funds, and the like are concepts that they do not fully understand. Coupled with a general sense of distrust following the fates CAP, Pacific, & Legacy, any planholder's initial response would be to make a sweeping generalization that their plans will not get serviced.

    In my opinion, if the SEC, Pre-Need Companies, and let's not forget the Trustee Banks of the Pre Need Companies took time to explain how the whole thing works, why there is a deficiency and how this can be resolved (whether thru infusion, improving market climate, etc), it may help ease the panic and fear amongst planholders.

    Also, I would like to point out that an important party to the pre-need industry's woes seems to be missing from the proceedings that have transpired -- the Trustee Banks. In fairness to Prudentialife (and to most pre-need companies), the funds are managed independently by Trustee Banks (unless of course they own the bank that manages the fund then that's an entirely different issue). If there's someone who can explain why there is a deficiency and can attest that the funds are intact, that would be the Trustee Banks managing their funds.

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  7. Very well said! I cannot agree more!

    I have just now, August 7, 2009, 8:39am seen again some of the news clips that I saw last night. It's clear that with reports of more pre-need companies facing financial troubles that the pre-need industry stakeholders' conference that we've all been pushing should happen as soon as possible. Transparency and understanding — instead of confusion and uncertainty — should rule the day!

    You raise one excellent point about the trustee banks. This story cannot be fully told without them coming out in the open and laying bare for us the true conditions of the pre-need company trust funds under their care.

    Keep the comments coming and please read my newer posts on the issue.

    I talked to SEC Chairman Fe Barin a few days ago and she referred me to Atty. Jose Aquino because according to her, it is the job of Atty. Aquino to attend to pre-need matters because he heads the Non-Traditional Department of the SEC. And now we see the news clips carrying images of Senator Roxas reportedly berating Chairman Barin for failing to investigate Atty. Aquino for possible dereliction of duty or collusion in the case of Legacy. Mahiwaga ito!

    I encourage more comments from our readers. We learn a lot when we discuss things especially those that concern ourselves and the greater public interest. I'll try to come up with a newer post today or early tomorrow at the latest. I will call up the SEC again today.

    You may email me at rollyocampo@yahoo.com. Thanks a lot and have a good day!


If you encounter any problem posting your comment, such as the error message "Your request could not be processed. Please try again," the problem might be resolved simply by trying to resubmit the comment. Otherwise, please email me at rollyocampo@yahoo.com. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. Have a nice day and God bless!

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