Here are some pre-need news during the month of February 2009 that could interest Danvil planholders:
1. Four more pre-need companies are nearing bankruptcy, according to Philip Piccio, president of the Parents-Enabling Parents Coalition (PEP), a group of parents fighting for their open-ended plans with Pacific Plans. Piccio named Pryce Plans as one of the four, but didn’t name the three other pre-need firms in trouble.
2. SEC chairwoman Fe Barin told congressmen that SEC issued 2009 licenses to only 24 of more than 50 pre-need companies.
3. The proposed transfer of pre-need regulation from the SEC to the Insurance Commission has been approved by members of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries. The transfer is included in a pre-need draft by Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo Angara.
4. Jose Miguel M. Vasquez, president of the Philippine Federation of Pre-Need Plan Companies (PFPPCI) and Permanent Plans, denied they invested in companies abroad which later became bankrupt because Philippine law prohibits them.
5. Cocoplans President Caesar T. Michelena said his firm has informed planholders that their trust fund, worth over P1.5 billion, can pay claims worth P500 million over five years. It is interesting to note that Cocoplans was the only pre-need firm that released trust fund figures during this particular pre-need meeting of more than 10 members.
6. ABS-CBN News obtained documents showing that preneed firms have a deficit of almost 47 billion pesos in trust funds. It says that 11 pre-need firms have been losing since June 2008 because of the fall in the rates of return from 12 % to only 6% for their investments in government securities, in blue-chip stocks and other financial instruments. Another reason is the drastic drop in sales of pre-need plans.
7. PFPPCI President Vasquez said pre-need companies can increase their capital over the next three years under relaxed SEC rules or stop selling new pre-need plans and undergo restructuring.
8. Parents Enabling Parents (PEP) Coalition, an organization of owners of Pacific Plans open-ended plans, said that none of the pre-need firms under rehabilitation such CAP and Pacific Plans has been punished for mismanagement.
9. PFPPCI President Vasquez will ask the SEC and the Central Bank to allow the pre-need industry to invest up to 10% of their total investments in dollar-denominated securities. Currently, the pre-need industry is allowed to invest only in peso-denominated securities.
10. The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, through its secretary general Ernesto Herrera, has called on legislators to pass without further delay the Preneed Industry Code to protect pre-need planholders.
11. A list of 19 pre-need firms willing to increase their capital in 2009 to cope with difficulties in the financial markets is included in Salve Duplito’s article on Inquirer.net Money Smarts. One of them is Danvil Plans.
It’s interesting to note that there are 6 licensed pre-need firms for 2009 that are not in this list. They are:
In the case of AMA Plans, it’s new in the 2009 pre-need dealer’s list, so it’s safe to assume its capital is adequate. It is also interesting to note that Pacific Plans and Ideal Pension Plans are not licensed to sell in 2009, but they are included in this list of pre-need firms willing to increase their capital.
The article said that Philam Plans didn’t sign the 19-firm agreement because its trust fund is more than adequate to pay its planholders.
Advice From Journalists to Planholders:
1. Know your options.
2. Avoid panic. Negative news will worsen the pre-need firm’s operations.
3. Do your own research. Ask SEC about your firm.