Thursday, May 05, 2005

A Step in the Right Direction

News Article from From inq7.net

TYCOON Alfonso Yuchengco issued a statement Wednesday pledging to raise P250 million from his personal resources to assist the beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc.

Yuchengco said he was doing this in his desire to help parents pay their children's tuition requirements for this year's school opening although, he added, Pacific Plans' problem was a corporate matter. He said the funds he would raise would be used to provide additional tuition support to Pacific Plans' disgruntled customers.

Pacific Plans said the details of Yuchengco's fund-raising pledge were being finalized and would be announced shortly.

Pacific Plans, a unit of the Yuchengco group of companies, has sought court assistance in suspending debt payments related mainly to its traditional education plans that have matured.

It issued a statement early this week saying it had to spin off its 34,000 open-ended or traditional plans to make sure its more than 400,000 fixed-value plans would remain healthy. It said open-ended plans had been bleeding it since the deregulation of tuition increases in 1990, before which tuition increases were limited to 10 percent a year. Pacific Plans said it stopped selling open-ended plans in 1992.

The company said that when it transferred the fixed-value plans to Lifetime Plans last August, its objective was to put Pacific Plans back on its feet. "We thought we could make it work. We even have a product that other pre-need companies think is excellent. We wanted to outsource everything to keep expenses down," it said.

************************************************************************************

This press release may already be a small step in the right direction as it appears to indicate that YGC now appreciates that their unilateral, take-it-or-leave-it approach was the path towards self-destruction and that starting a constructive dialogue is a smarter and better business strategy.

What we would recommend to Amb. Yuchengco is that your goodself could engage a third party financial expert (perhaps PICPA or the CFA association) that is mutually acceptable to the coalition to objectively analyze the financial status and the business decisions undertaken by PPI's board and senior management as well as other YGC controlled companies.

What you may find is that you may not have to dig out from your personal resources and that Pacific Plans has the economic resources to make all planholders whole. The coalition considers itself most fortunate in having a lot of helpers in the financial community in having already gathered highly detailed information regarding the evolution of Pacific Plans over the last five years inclusive of memoranda, cash movements, dates, plus related party transactions. We can already conclude that the PPI was very viable prior to the breakup.

Please seriously consider our suggestion Ambassador Yuchengco and discuss it with your trusted staff who have your interests at heart rather than those who may be putting up a cordon sanitaire (over the last 2 weeks, they've been spreading information that you were suffering from a variety of health impairments ranging from a quintuple bypass and even Alzheimer's) around you in a misguided attempt to insulate you and to cover for their errors.

Much in the same way, your PPI lieutenants were attempting to unilaterally walk away from the obligations, you can likewise unilaterally reverse that situation.




75 Comments:

At Thursday, May 05, 2005 6:07:00 PM, Anonymous TLS said...

this is digressing from the topic on hand, but can someone please research on what and how the tuition fee deregulation came to be and why it is always dated as "1992" to coincide with the dates PPI supposedly stopped selling traditional plans? Because from what I've studied, it was the Education Act of 1982 or Batas Pambansa 232 (Sec. 42) that allowed school administrators to determine tuition fees as they saw fit. Please, someone, research if there was any other E.O. or P.D. or R.A. or whatever law particularly in 1992 for tuition fee deregulation. Because if it was BP 232, dated 1982, then that even makes things worse for PPI. All the more it had time to either stop selling or modify its revenue-cost model. Worse, if it continued selling within the years 1982 to 1992, when the tuition fees were already deregulated, then it's case for using government regulation really falls apart.

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 6:49:00 PM, Anonymous marc said...

tls,

Notice that PPI backed out of that argument already. I suspect the reason they were willing to face the Coalition in the Dong Puno Live show was because they thought they had a viable argument in this. But Atty. Philip argued that deregulation happened in 1982 and not 1992, so "fortuitous event" cannot be claimed, and Dong Puno himself countered the argument through the estoppel thing. I don't recall deregulation being used again, even here in this blog, after the show was aired.

To the Coalition,
I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts... As a gesture of goodwill, PPI should withdraw and pull-out the rehab plan before negotiations can begin in earnest...

Just my thoughts...

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 8:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parents like me invested my blood, sweat and everything i have in an educational plan.I have 3 children. AY said infused or raised 250 millions pesos to PPI. What i want to know is what are the future of my children in term of these educational plan? I am retiring w/in 3 years? But the traditional educational is a cancer of PPI. I can not wait till 2010 to get my money back, or how sure are we parents that there are money in 2010? Someone out there pls. enlightened us parents on these Napocor bond!!!!!!!!

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 9:24:00 PM, Anonymous Gin said...

To tls

Pacific sold trad plans from 1986 to 1992 not from 1982. If this is the case, they are more so in trouble if the tuition fee deregulation was really implemented in 1982. That means the they knew the deregulation and still went on to start the trad educational business. IT IS THEREFORE 100% THEIR OWN LOOKOUT and NOT US, planholders/buyers.

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 9:25:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that tuition fees increased 670% from 1990s to now.

I will look for the article.

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 10:44:00 PM, Anonymous TLS said...

marc,

yes, thanks. I know that it's not a valid argument by PPI anymore. But I just wish we could somehow emphasize that in media because they (PPI/Yuchengco) keep on trying to win public sympathy by issuing statements like these:

"Ernesto Garcia, Pacific Plan president, said the deregulation of tuition was the biggest cause of the company's problems. He said the company reacted prudently when it stopped selling open-ended plans in 1992, two years after partial deregulation and two years before the 1994 full deregulation."

They're implying that they had little time to have adjusted to the deregulation and it just irritates me to know that facts are not coming out.

Anyway, yes. Of course until AY/PPI/Yuchengco group pay our full benefits under contract this year and in the years to come, I really see these additional "statements of support" as insulting planholders. Its like playing around with figures to see if that will be enough to "shut up" the complaining planholders. Parang, "O, sige. subukan muna natin ang P250M. Pag di pa yun okay, dagdagan natin ng P250M ulit. Tapos last offer na natin P750M. At least nasabi natin na in-offeran natin sila".

Of course if there are no legal waivers attached, by all means, we should take any cash offered. As long as it doesn't mean accepting a rehab plan or their 2010 proposal because those have different legal implications.

But, really, if integrity and sincerity were the basis of these actions that they are broadcasting to media, I believe the only thing they should be saying is that they will shell out funds, personal or otherwise, to pay in full our benefits under contract today and in the future. Hindi yun pang-aabuso. Hindi yun greediness. Hindi yun taking advantage. In fact, even if I was a billionaire, I'd still be entitled and PPI would still have to give me my benefits. It's simply our legal right that they promised us.

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 11:02:00 PM, Blogger liza said...

tis,

I was browsing the web and found this link on Education Act of 1982. I hope that the coalition can find a way to get the media exposure it badly needs.

Liza

http://laborlaw.freeservers.com/SCDoctrines/Repealing%20Clause.htm

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 11:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Education Act of 1982 created the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports which later became the Department of Education, Culture and Sports in 1987 by virtue of Executive Order No. 117.

Sec. 42. Tuition and Other School Fees. - Each private school shall determine its rate of tuition and other school fees or charges. The rates and charges adopted by schools pursuant to this provision shall be collectible, and their application or use authorized, subject to rules and regulations promulgated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.

Tuition fees increases followed the guidelines of MECS and DECS which issued the tuition fee cap and later removed it.

Advocacy group since 2000 have been asking for the repeal of Sec.42 and been blaming it for the difficulties of CAP since 2002(surprising, I didn't know this). Search the Internet for the groups asking to control tuition fee hikes. Didn't want to post it since it is basically the same story of Pacific Plans.

 
At Thursday, May 05, 2005 11:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, article also contains this:

From 1990-1995 just before the Asian financial bubble
burst in 1997, tuition jumped to 275 percent.

For the last 15 years since 1990, tuition has swelled by a
whopping 670 percent.

But these figures only speak of the average tuition rate per unit in private schools. Most exclusive
schools charge tuition five times higher than the
average.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 12:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should take all these press releases regarding the good intentions of Amb. Yuchengco with a grain of salt. We can never fully trust his people after what they did. Also I would like to know if the coalition has anything planned for the May 25 hearing. Thanks.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 1:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

regarding the "whopping 670%"

now that's very funny. the school that i have in mind is as exclusive as they come, but the yearly increase never goes beyond 7%.

Before we find ourselves discussing "factoids", let us please cite specific examples and context (ie. what school, what grade, what amount and what year was the increase).

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 3:10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ateneo-Pacific Planholders will have their meeting on Saturday, May 7, at the HS Cafeteria. Membership forms for the association and Special Power of Attorney, for the opposition paper and any legal action, will be distributed and need to be accomplished. Thus, please be ready with the information below for the Sat. meeting:

For the PEP Coalition Membership Form:

Education Plan Agreement (EPA) Number
Certificate of Full Payment Number
Planholder / Scholar
Pre-Need Price

For the Special Power of Attorney:

Community Tax Certificate (CTC) Number / Date / Place
3 Photocopies of all your CFPs (for availing) or CFPs and Agreements (for non-availing)

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 3:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ateneo meeting will be at 9 a.m., Pacific Planholders from other schools are also welcome to attend.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 7:39:00 AM, Anonymous MOM said...

Let us also consider that all these articles about Yuchengco to pay pacific planholders might just be a ploy to keep us quiet for the moment. Let us hope and pray that the old man is sincere.

Cocktales is talking about Yuchengco calling a meeting with planholders tomorrow. Have we been notified? I haven't.

Let's wait and see. The ball is their hands.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 8:09:00 AM, Anonymous TLS said...

Thanks Liza.

Anyway, I just wish that media points out that the tuition fee dereg is simply that. It doesn't prevent PPI/Yuchengco from paying out the legal benefits as per contract. Maaring naging mas mahirap para sa kanila, but definitely not legally impossible or contrary to law. And that, I believe is the spirit of that Provision in the pre-need contract. In the same way that a fortuitous or Act of God will really "stop" any business from continuing because of physical destruction of property or loss of lives, etc., I believe that is the spirit in which "government regulation" is taken.

Anyway, all that should be moot and academic given that the law is over 20 years old. I just want all bases covered in our fight. Thanks to all. Please leave this and post on the topic at hand, which is the proposed personal support of this person, AY.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 8:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

After what they did, I do not trust the Yuchengcos anymore. Which is why I do not believe the supposed 250M cash infusion. I'm sure there's a catch somewhere.

HELEN, THIS IS WHAT YOU DID. YOU DESTROYED YOUR FAMILY'S GOOD NAME.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 9:30:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PPI HAD A PRINT AD THIS WEEK, AND THEY NEVER EVEN MENTIONED THE SUPPOSED MEETING TOMORROW. WHAT GIVES? SOMETHING IS FISHY HERE.

FROM THE COCKTALES COLUMN:
Caught in a consumer tempest, Pacific Plans Inc. has agreed to meet the public this Saturday in a forum at the Philippine International Convention Center starting at 1 p.m. It was not clear whether tycoon Alfonso Yuchengco or his heiress-apparent, Helen Y. Dee, would be there in person to answer questions.

In any case, the lynch-mob atmosphere would presumably have died down with the announcement of a P250-million "tuition support" that the tycoon has committed to cover the first semester obligations of Pacific Plans to its open-ended plan holders.
The key AY advisers are hoping that the P250-million support would eventually lead to the Yuchengcos making Pacific Plans whole again, especially since the game plan of isolating the Pacific Plans "cancer" did exactly the opposite and even made vulnerable the entire Yuchengo empire to text-message rumors and even Internet attacks.

According to records with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pacific Plans reported an actuarial reserve liability (ARL) of P10.3 billion in 2003, and, after spinning off the good assets, ended 2004 with a much lower P2.65 billion in actuarial reserve liability.

On the plus side, Pacific Plans, according to the rehabilitation petition the company filed, had P4.5 billion in bonds of National Power Corp. (Napocor) that will mature in 2010, but only P37 million in cash and P15 million in shares of stocks left as of end-2004.

While the country's first pre-need company has on paper enough near-cash assets to wipe out its P2.651-billion ARL, it clearly does not have the actual cash to meet tuition obligations from now until 2010, when the Napocor bonds shall mature.

The Yuchengco announcement did not say from which pocket the P250 million would be taken, but on the basis of the financial statements of the two publicly listed Yuchengco companies, Al Yuchengco would need to sell off a few good assets if he would have to have adequate liquidity line, and also improve his bank's financial ratios.

For one, his Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) is already bumping its ceiling on loans to directors, officers, stockholders and related interests (DOSRI) under central bank rules.
Moreover, RCBC has still to receive central bank approval for its application to extend to 10 years instead of seven the amortization of P3.6 billion in additional allowance for doubtful accounts that the bank has to provide to cover to its disastrous Bankard credit card company acquisition.

In the meantime, to improve its financial ratios, RCBC had to resort to some creative accounting techniques, a fact that did not escape its external auditors.
Audit firm SGV & Co. said in a 2004 footnote: "Had the Parent Company [meaning RCBC] fully recognized the required allowance for probable losses [amounting to P1.96 billion] as part of current operations in 2004 in accordance with Philippine GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), the Group's net income of P1.38 billion would have been reduced by P1.32 billion."

The good news is that the RCBC group has more than P12.4 billion worth of repossessed real estate assets in its inventory that it could now dispose of in an improving market.

But that might be easier said than done, especially in this small town teeming with interlocking families and relationships.
For instance, the RCBC group had a buyer lined up for the unfinished Jaka II building on Ayala Avenue in the Makati business district when, if the market grapevine is to be believed, it had to scuttle the deal following protests from a VIP client.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous bmw said...

Cocktales: Testing the Pacific waters
Posted: 1:25 AM | May 06, 2005
Victor Agustin
Inquirer News Service


CAUGHT in a consumer tempest, Pacific Plans Inc. has agreed to meet the public this Saturday in a forum at the Philippine International Convention Center starting at 1 p.m. It was not clear whether tycoon Alfonso Yuchengco or his heiress-apparent, Helen Y. Dee, would be there in person to answer questions.

In any case, the lynch-mob atmosphere would presumably have died down with the announcement of a P250-million "tuition support" that the tycoon has committed to cover the first semester obligations of Pacific Plans to its open-ended plan holders.

The key AY advisers are hoping that the P250-million support would eventually lead to the Yuchengcos making Pacific Plans whole again, especially since the game plan of isolating the Pacific Plans "cancer" did exactly the opposite and even made vulnerable the entire Yuchengo empire to text-message rumors and even Internet attacks.

According to records with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pacific Plans reported an actuarial reserve liability (ARL) of P10.3 billion in 2003, and, after spinning off the good assets, ended 2004 with a much lower P2.65 billion in actuarial reserve liability.

On the plus side, Pacific Plans, according to the rehabilitation petition the company filed, had P4.5 billion in bonds of National Power Corp. (Napocor) that will mature in 2010, but only P37 million in cash and P15 million in shares of stocks left as of end-2004.

While the country's first pre-need company has on paper enough near-cash assets to wipe out its P2.651-billion ARL, it clearly does not have the actual cash to meet tuition obligations from now until 2010, when the Napocor bonds shall mature.

The Yuchengco announcement did not say from which pocket the P250 million would be taken, but on the basis of the financial statements of the two publicly listed Yuchengco companies, Al Yuchengco would need to sell off a few good assets if he would have to have adequate liquidity line, and also improve his bank's financial ratios.

For one, his Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) is already bumping its ceiling on loans to directors, officers, stockholders and related interests (DOSRI) under central bank rules.

Moreover, RCBC has still to receive central bank approval for its application to extend to 10 years instead of seven the amortization of P3.6 billion in additional allowance for doubtful accounts that the bank has to provide to cover to its disastrous Bankard credit card company acquisition.

In the meantime, to improve its financial ratios, RCBC had to resort to some creative accounting techniques, a fact that did not escape its external auditors.

Audit firm SGV & Co. said in a 2004 footnote: "Had the Parent Company [meaning RCBC] fully recognized the required allowance for probable losses [amounting to P1.96 billion] as part of current operations in 2004 in accordance with Philippine GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), the Group's net income of P1.38 billion would have been reduced by P1.32 billion."

The good news is that the RCBC group has more than P12.4 billion worth of repossessed real estate assets in its inventory that it could now dispose of in an improving market.

But that might be easier said than done, especially in this small town teeming with interlocking families and relationships.

For instance, the RCBC group had a buyer lined up for the unfinished Jaka II building on Ayala Avenue in the Makati business district when, if the market grapevine is to be believed, it had to scuttle the deal following protests from a VIP client.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 1:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IS this is our own "Philip Piccio"? If so, can we have someone else represent us?

"Alas-singko ng hapon, nasa Villamor Air Base chapel sina Ver at Imelda Marcos, tumatayong ninong at ninang sa kasal ni Philip Piccio, anak ng commanding general ng Philippine Air Force. Tila walang kamalay-malay si Ver na may nagaganap sa Camp Aguinaldo. Sa sobrang takot ng mga tauhan niya, walang makalapit upang ibulong sa kanya na nagtitipon na ang RAM."

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 1:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"IS this is our own "Philip Piccio"? If so, can we have someone else represent us?

"Alas-singko ng hapon, nasa Villamor Air Base chapel sina Ver at Imelda Marcos, tumatayong ninong at ninang sa kasal ni Philip Piccio, anak ng commanding general ng Philippine Air Force. "

YOU GOT IT RIGHT!

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 1:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in response to the above

what has your message have to do with what Philip Piccio is doing for us????

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 1:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the comment regarding the sponsors at Phillip Piccio's wedding is inappropriate and uncalled for. A gentle reminder to everyone: let's keep discussions in this blogspot at a high level. A person's choice of godparents at his wedding does not in any way reflect on his character and integrity.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 1:51:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, it destroy's the Coalitions credibility.

We are blaming them for ties with GMA and on the other hand Escudero, an Erap supporter, wants us to file a class action suit. And now, we are being represented by a Marcos guy?

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 2:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is unfair to discriminate against Atty. Piccio just because he had Marcos as wedding sponsor. He is as much a victim of Pacific Plans as we all are, so why deprive him of his right to speak up, and not only for his own interest but for ours as well? The problem at hand has nothing to do with Marcos besides. We should be thankful to him, Winnie and the rest. Why disparage him?

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 2:07:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"For me, it destroy's the Coalitions credibility.

We are blaming them for ties with GMA and on the other hand Escudero, an Erap supporter, wants us to file a class action suit. And now, we are being represented by a Marcos guy? "

O my God! This confirms the column of Vic Agustin days back which stated an Erap lawyer is behind this move.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 2:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 2:52:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think whoever is atty. piccio's godparents is irrelevant to the coalition's fight. He did a very good job of representing us, calmly and factually presenting arguments. at this point in time, we should not look at personalities but rather on a person's sincerity and effort in fighting for all our rights. his also being a victim of pacific's scam make us in equal footing with us. regardless of race, religion, etc. He has been doing a good job of it and I for one is very thankful to atty. piccio, winnie, tls, etc. who have been spending time and effort to fight for our rights. I think we should be careful, it seems pacific is trying to divide the coalition by putting political colors into the hardworking people behind this coalition. As to the news release of AY on his shelling out his own funds, like the previous poster said, we should all take it with a grain of salt. They might just be trying to calm us down, knowing that if we let go, and not put up much opposition to their rehab plan, they might be able to pull it through. Hope we all stay united. only when we are united can we win this.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 3:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kaya pala ganoon kayabang ang anak nyang lalaki!

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 3:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. It seems that it's difficult for us to blame GMA for inaction, when our lawyer is open to criticisms on his own biases.
I asked people around on his reputation, and they all said he is closely associated with the Marcoses .

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 3:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fail to see why Atty Piccio's choice of godparents has anything to do with his credibility as a fighter for our cause. Based on that snippet, it seems his wedding was in the 80s, way before most of us even bought the plans. What he did 15-20 years ago shouldn't be taken against him now.

Regarding erap politicians backing our coalition, do you expect any GMA politicians to back us? They've probably been mostly paid off. Our only options would be opposition or independent politicians. Putting political color into our cause is YGC's way of discrediting us. Next thing you know, they'll say we are merely a destabilization attempt.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 4:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous who wrote...

"Kaya pala ganoon kayabang ang anak nyang lalaki!"

Who are you referring to? Philip Piccio? You must be mistaken!

And tigilan niyo na si Philip. He's a victim like us and you people just don't know the kind of work he has been doing for the group.

Let's just stick to the issue...i.e. the Yuchengcos defrauded us and they are the ones we should 'persecute'.

Kung wala kayong masabi o magawa nang tama, just SHUT UP!

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 4:15:00 PM, Anonymous Gerry said...

We are our own worst enemies. Why do we have to focus on ninongs, ninangs, eraps group, GMA,etc. Were getting too distracted. I have from the beginning said, we SHOULD focus on the INTEGRITY of Ambassador Yuchengco. Forget his people, his sons, daugters. They wont have anything to lose but much more to lose if they doled out 2 billion for their commitments. But AL YUCHENGCO has much, much more to lose- his Integrity and Honor. Why do you think he is taking a direct hand in this? We should continue the pressure. We cannot afford to attack our own friends here like Atty Piccio. He can be a son of Hitler for all i care for so long as we can see his SINCERITY in helping. We have to be united in this one people. We cannot forever be crabs. Let's move on and fight the good fight!

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 4:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what I am commenting is the attitude of Philip Piccio's son.

Mayabang sya.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 4:26:00 PM, Anonymous Gerry said...

Philip Piccio i think is the son of former Airforce General, Piccio during Marcos' time. But that was past. Who is the son you are referring to? His son?

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 4:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say, God Bless You, Philip. YOU'RE GREAT. Keep it up, man!!!

PEP Coalition, hurrah, hurrah, hurrah.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 5:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For peace of mind, how come Atty. Piccio is not in the IBP(Integrated Bar of the Philippines) directory. Check its website at www.ibp.gov.ph. Are we being respresented properly?

---- CUT--------
PICAZO ANTONIO ACEVEDO MAKATI 1964
PICAZO JOSE E. MANILA II 1958
PICAZO EVARISTO A. MANILA II 1933
PICAZO LEOPOLDO ACUÑA MANILA II 1930
PICCIO MAMERTO D. MANILA IV 1959
PICCIO ROMEO B. MANILA IV 1953
PICHAY MINDA GAPUZ QUEZON CITY 1980
PICHAY F.D.NICOLAS BALLESTEROS MANILA IV 1989
PICHAY RAMSEY DOMINGO GAPUZ LA UNION
---CUT------------

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 5:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to lend credibility to the PICC meet but wish someone like Corporate Concscience, tls, marc, liza or punzi can be there and give feedback.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 5:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc
The Philippine Star 05/06/2005
* * *
Pacific Plans Inc. e-mailed a rejoinder to my piece on how it seemed to be made to fail on purpose (Gotcha, 2 May 2005). Its points:

"(1) On leaving 34,000 (traditional education plan holders) in a lurch. By filing for rehabilitation, PPI sought to protect the interest of the 18,000 plan holders who are still to avail of the benefits under the plan.

"(2) On PPI’s P1-billion profit in 2003. The reported P1-B gain is from trust funds of three product lines: education, pension and memorial. Trust Fund income accrues to the Trust Fund, and under SEC regulation cannot be disbursed for any purpose other than for the payment of benefits.

"(3) On the setup of Lifetime Plans and transfer of 99.6percent of assets. Based on audited financial statements at the time of transfer, only 70% was moved to Lifetime.

"(4) That holders will be given anywhere from P7,000 to P35,000 to cover part of tuitions which actually amount to P50,000-P150,000. Tuition support ceiling is given based on school category, ie., exclusive, non-exclusive and government-subsidized. Tuition support for those enrolled in non-exclusive and government-subsidized schools is estimated to cover 90-95% of their last tuition. Admittedly, tuition support for exclusive schools are less because of their higher tuition costs.

"(5) That balance will be paid only in 2010 with 7% annual interest. PPI is currently negotiating for a liquidity window where plan holders can encash the fixed value plan before 2010.

"(6) That investment in Napocor, which has been losing P100-B a year, was PPI’s lookout. Napocor bonds are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by the Republic of the Philippines.

"(7) On stock replies to anticipated questions. These were meant to address questions by plan holders about the spin-off. This is usual for any organization undergoing changes."

One of the major developments in the PPI saga came not with the rejoinder but in the form of a terse announcement on May 4, entitled "AY comes to PPI’s rescue," to wit:

"Amb. Alfonso Yuchengco said that he is raising funds from personal resources to assist Pacific plan holders. He stressed that although this is a corporate matter for Pacific Plans, he is doing this in his desire to help parents pay their children’s tuition requirements for this year’s school opening. The fund to be raised, which shall be up to P250m, will be used to provide additional tuition support, details of which are being finalized and will be announced shortly. With the end in view of resolving the issue, PPI shall meet and dialogue with the concerned plan holders."

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 5:25:00 PM, Anonymous TLS said...

To All:

I wanted to wait for the moderator to put in a new topic because I don't want my post to go to waste since in the latest posts, everyone has become distracted by what I see is a non-issue/possibly detractor-supplied info. We should focus energies on moving forward.

Anyway, I couldn't wait to post this because we need all the inputs and analysis we can get, especially in propping up our opposition paper whose deadline is a week away. If the moderators see it as useful, I'll just post it again when another topic comes up so that the right/concerned parties can read it again.

I believe that because PPI/Yuchengco established Lifetime to be able to continue on with its money-making in spite of its anticipated or manufactured problem with PPI, we should seriously look into the servicing of our contractual obligations by Lifetime Plans. There are two legal doctrines by which Lifetime Plans may be proven to be liable: the fraudulent transfer doctrine and the successor liability doctrine.

Under U.S. laws, a Fraudulent Transfer or Fraudulent Conveyance" is a transfer which a debtor makes for the purpose of defeating a creditor's collection efforts against the debtor. In a Fraudulent Transfer, a corporate action which impairs the rights of unsecured creditors, the courts must ignore what was done (the Fraudulent Transfer). This is whether the creditor's claim arose before or after the transfer was made. Transferring assets is a fraudulent act if you transfer them with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor or especially if it is done prior to filing bankruptcy. Such transfers should be considered fraudulent and voided by the courts.

Factors determining actual intent (of Fraud), if Original Owner / Entity:
1. Retained possession or control of the asset / property transferred after the transfer (may not be direct ownership; normally parties that commit fraudulent transfer will restructure to show no current ownership)
2. Disclosed or concealed the transfer;
3. Was sued or threatened with suit before the transfer;
4. Transferred all of its substantial assets;
5. Absconded (departed secretly);
6. Removed or concealed assets;
7. Did not receive value reasonably equivalent to the value of the asset transferred;
8. Was insolvent or became insolvent shortly after the transfer was made;
9. Transferred the asset shortly before or shortly after a substantial debt was incurred; and
10. Transferred the essential assets of the business to a lienor who transferred the assets to an insider of the debtor.

From the above, I believe the actions taken by PPI/Yuchengco constitute a fraudulent transfer which would leave Lifetime Plans as liable for the contractual obligations of PPI as well.

By taking over the earnings assets or fixed-value contracts, Lifetime Plans became entitled to future installment payments on these plans – installment payments which would provide profit margins from which PPI could have possibly satisfied its contractual obligations or ensured adequacy of its ARL / Trust Funds had PPI continued with these fixed-value contracts. Indeed, as a result of Lifetime’s taking over the fixed-value contracts, PPI lost the right to share in the profit margins of the future installment payments and potential future profits deriving from the sale of additional fixed-value contracts. In addition, Lifetime Plans benefited and continues to benefit from PPI's Goodwill, most likely also without fully paying for this. The transfer eventually left PPI with a questionable asset, the Napocor Bonds.

So, where the transfer of assets strips a debtor corporation (PPI) of all its assets, and disables the corporation from earning money to pay its debts, thus leaving creditors and holders of claims no resources to which they may look for the payment of their due, the net result is in legal effect a fraud; and the courts must subject the transferee (Lifetime Plans) to liability for the satisfaction of claims against the corporation (PPI) whose assets it has absorbed.

Based on the second doctrine, I believe we can assert our basis to collect legal contractual benefits from Lifetime as a successor corporation to PPI. We assert that Lifetime is liable and is a successor because of two reasons: (1) there was insufficiency of consideration and, (2) it is merely a continuation of PPI.

We assume that the transfer of the earning assets of PPI into Lifetime was done through an “acquisition”, meaning Lifetime Plans purchased the earning assets of PPI, although liability may be imposed regardless of the exact form of transfer of assets between the corporations. But let’s assume a sale/purchase transaction between PPI and Lifetime Plans. We assert that PPI's sale/purchase or transfer of earning assets to Lifetime Plans lacked sufficient consideration and was designed to avoid the reach of creditors.

Adequate consideration for a transfer of assets between a buying (Lifetime) and selling (PPI) corporation is an important element when determining whether to impose successor liability. If the buying (Lifetime) corporation pays sufficient consideration for the seller's (PPI) assets, the selling (PPI) corporation's creditors can then seek to satisfy their Judgements from the sale proceeds. If the sale proceeds are equivalent in value to the transferred assets, then, assumedly, but not necessarily, no harm has been done to the creditors of the selling corporation. But from the financial statements available, it seems that PPI received no value for the earning assets it transferred into Lifetime Plans, therefore making the transaction questionable and a probable basis for the successor liability theory.

The other basis for the successor liability doctrine is that Lifetime is a mere continuation of PPI. Normally, when a corporation sells its assets to another corporation, the purchasing corporation does not become liable for the debts of the selling corporation. The rationale for this rule is that a "bona fide purchaser who gives adequate consideration and who lacks notice of prior claims against the property acquires no liability for those claims." However, four exceptions to this rule of non-liability exist. Successor liability is imposed if: (1) the purchaser expressly or impliedly agrees to assume liability; (2) the purchase is a de facto merger or consolidation; (3) the purchaser is a mere continuation of the seller; or (4) the transfer of assets is for the fraudulent purpose of escaping liability.

Now, Lifetime is practically PPI. Lifetime, despite being the new corporation established only in 2004, has or had substantially identical ownership (prior to its immediate transfer to Exemplar to enhance the layering), is operating the identical business (sales of pre-need plans) with identical employees (all of whom resigned en masse and transferred) at an identical location to PPI (prior to PPI’s transfer to Kamagong and its now floating address status). It received practically all of PPI's assets, at least the good ones, including PPI’s intangible goodwill. If that is not mere continuation, I don’t know how it can NOT be defined as such.

Lastly, I believe we should take a serious look at going after the perpetrators as well. Although individual shareholders of a corporation can never avoid liability for their own wrongful or tortuous acts, or for their own contractual defaults, doing business in the corporate form will, in many cases, limit the liability of shareholders to the amount of their investment in the corporation. For example, if a corporation is held liable for a wrong committed by one of its agents, or for a breach of contract, the corporate form will act as a shield to protect the individual shareholders from personal liability (unless the individual shareholder(s) personally guaranteed a corporate obligation or is(are) in some manner responsible for the damages to the injured party). But protection from personal liability is lost if there is a basis for invoking the "Alter Ego" doctrine. Under this doctrine, the law will disregard the legal fiction of a corporation's separate existence and "pierce the corporate veil", thus exposing shareholders to personal liability for corporate debts and obligations arising from tortuous or other acts if the court finds that it would be inequitable not to pierce the corporate veil.

There are two basic requirements for application of the alter ego doctrine: ..."(1) that there be such unity of interest and ownership that the separate personalities of the corporation and the individual no longer exist and (2) that, if the acts are treated as those of the corporation alone, an inequitable result will follow." Other patterns that determine whether the alter ego doctrine might be applicable:
[1] Commingling of funds and other assets, failure to segregate funds of the separate entities, and the unauthorized diversion of corporate funds or assets to other than corporate uses;
[2] The treatment by an individual of the assets of the corporation as his own;
[3] The failure to obtain authority to issue stock or to subscribe or to issue the same;
[4] The holding out by an individual that he is personally liable for the debts of the corporation;
[5] The failure to maintain minutes or adequate corporate records, and the confusion of the records of separate entities;
[6] The identical equitable ownership in two or more entities; the identification of the equitable owners of multiple entities with the domination and control of the entities; identification of the directors and officers of multiple entities in the responsible supervision and management of all; sole ownership of all of the stock in a corporation by one individual or the members of a family;
[7] The use of the same office or business location by multiple entities; the employment of the same employees;
[8] The failure to adequately capitalize a corporation; the absence of sufficient corporate assets;
[9] The use of a corporation as a mere shell, instrumentality, or conduit for a single venture or for the business of an individual or another corporation;
[10] The concealment or misrepresentation of the identity of the responsible ownership, management and financial interests; concealment of personal business activities;
[11] The disregard of legal formalities and the failure to maintain arm's length relationships among related entities or individuals;
[12] The diversion of assets from a corporation by or to a stockholder or other person or entity, to the detriment of creditors, or the manipulation of assets and liabilities between entities so as to concentrate the assets in one and the liabilities in another;
[13] The contracting with another with intent to avoid performance by use of a corporate entity as a shield against personal liability, or the use of a corporation as subterfuge of illegal transactions; and
[14] The formation and use of a corporation to transfer to it the existing liability of another person or entity.

I believe several of the reasons above apply in PPI/Yuchengco/Lifetime's case.

Calling all legal beagles on our side and the legal team of the Coalition! I don’t know if RP laws are as robust as this but I believe we should and can use this as a basis. (Also our financial wizards - since this involves evaluation of the financials of PPI and Lifetime). Thanks to the posters who are moving our cause forward. Mabuhay kayo!

TLS

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 5:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reaction to TLS:

"Indeed, as a result of Lifetime’s taking over the fixed-value contracts, PPI lost the right to share in the profit margins of the future installment payments and potential future profits deriving from the sale of additional fixed-value contracts.'

This effectively points out that the availments of trad edu has been eating up the majority of edu trust fund.

I believe the move to separate fixed value from the trad is the best move to protect our, fixed value, interests. If not, all educ availees, whether trad or fixed value, could have suffered the same fate caused by trad availees.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 6:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To tls,

Thank you for all that info. It's very enlightening.

To the one who reacted after,

Stop making it an issue between trad and fixed plan holders. How would you like it if you hold a pension, life, or memorial plan and by the time you reach 70, lifetime moves all younger plans, leaves your plan in a shell company, and ask the younger planholders to complain about giving you any money? If they can do this once and get away with it, they can just keep doing it to escape paying for any future availments of any of their plans.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 6:53:00 PM, Anonymous WM said...

Hey guys check out the write up on Pacific in Manila Standard. There are 2 columnist who wrote something about it. You can check its website.

Why don’t we wait for the offer of Mr.Yuchengco and see if he really is sincere.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 7:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best move to protect BOTH the trad and fixed value planholders would have been to infuse equity into PPI and not to separate the fixed from the trad plans. It would also have been the PROPER move.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 8:10:00 PM, Anonymous frg said...

To TLS, I think your involvement via participation in one of the committees (maybe legal) or maybe even as a core group member might be a lot more beneficial to our cause than just limiting yourself to posting in this blogsite. I can see you have a lot to contribute to our cause. I assume, of course, that you are not yet a member of any committee nor are you a core group member.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 8:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pacific plans incurred dollar-denominated debts with RCBC to buy these worthless Napocor bonds. Financial wizards check these out!

RCBC stockholders would not allow these debts to go unpaid, especially the BIG JAPANESE STOCKHOLDERS.

the napocor bonds by 2010 is pure ILLUSION and VAPOR, a MIRAGE to bid for TIME.......for planholders to wait a LIFETIME........

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 8:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard through the grapevine that all employees of Tokio Marine, a YGC company, were "asked" to attend tomorrow's meeting to be conducted by PPI supposedly for planholders. Also, each of the employees' names, including their spouses, were gathered to check whether they are planholders themselves. If that is not coercion, I don't know what is.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 8:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in tagalog, they call it.....


HAKOT!

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 9:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can't believe some of the comments here!!! philip piccio is doing his best as a spokesperson. pati naman ugali ng anak nya sinali mo na! wala nang koneksyon yun! at pabayaan mo silang pumili ng ninong at ninang nila sa kasal! if you think you can do what philip is doing for us, please step forward and volunteer yourself. if you cannot, then just shut up!!!

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 10:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From me & 30 other legitimate plan-holders we just want Philip to know you have our trust & confidence. Keep up the good work. Don’t mind those negative remarks about you its just coming from the pr group hired by Garcia using our money with PPI. We can smell all of you miles away.

 
At Friday, May 06, 2005 11:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the midst of all these reactions and opinions, there is a lot that may be learned.. I just wish I can actively be a member of this coalition. I reside in the province, emailed the yahoo address of this coalition asking how I may go about it, but never received a reply. It is frustrating, living out here, far from the action and support that I've been itching to contribute, if there is any at all that I can.. Somebody, please advise how I may be able to enlist!! Thanks in advance!

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew Philip Piccio from his Fort Bonifacio Days. I was a friend of his brother,Vince. I knew his father, an Air Force General. From the newsaccounts i figured he was a Marcos loyalist,and that must have accounted for his being able to get the marcoses as sponsors of his offsprings' weddings.

I was on the other side of the fence, and active one at that. I do not take Philip's parents' political choices against him because he had nothing to do with their(his parents') choices. So what if his parents were Marcos loyalists?
At least he is making a stand that clearly marks him as one who stands against crooked principles as he sees it. That by any measure is an improvement of the race. Way to go Philip!!!!

I do not think that can be said of the people who are advocating this devious and underhanded scheme that is being foisted upon the hapless parents who have turned to Philip for succor. I will take Philip any time.

Trennie Monsod

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 2:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought my trad educ plan in 1992, and the EPAgreement has this limitation:

"It is agreed that the following schools are excluded from the coverage of his agreement, namely: PAREF-Woodrose, PAREF-Southridge, Brent School, Maria Montessori (Alabang and Pasay) International Schools, Philippine Schools operated in U.S. bases, school under foreign government curricula, and other schools similarly situated as well as those schools not authorized to opeated by the DECS"

Fees of the above mentioned schools should be excluded in computing the average increase of tuition fee.

Anyway, this issue of tuition fee hike is no longer valid. PPI has been estopped of this.

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 2:56:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought my trad educ plan in 1992, and the EPAgreement has this limitation:

"It is agreed that the following schools are excluded from the coverage of his agreement, namely: PAREF-Woodrose, PAREF-Southridge, Brent School, Maria Montessori (Alabang and Pasay) International Schools, Philippine Schools operated in U.S. bases, school under foreign government curricula, and other schools similarly situated as well as those schools not authorized to opeated by the DECS"

Fees of the above mentioned schools should be excluded in computing the average increase of tuition fee.

Anyway, this issue of tuition fee hike is no longer valid. PPI has been estopped of this.

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 11:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From an article posted at
http://www.partyofenlightenedplanholders.blogspot.com.


"From 1990-1995 just before the Asian financial bubble
burst in 1997, tuition jumped to 275 percent. For the
last 15 years since 1990, tuition has swelled by a
whopping 670 percent. "

Another line from article
"A study made by Anak ng Bayan Youth Party on the
rising cost of tertiary education showed that in just
five years, from academic year 2000-2001 to the
present, the national average tuition rate has
increased by as much as 63 percent. The National
Capital Region (NCR) average rate, on the other hand,
went up by 57 percent. "

Figures above came from CHED, which don't include the PAREF, IS schools listed above.

Read the article. Very interesting. Read also other groups who want Section 42 repealed. They have the same story and figures. These groups since years and years ago want government to control tuition fee increases.

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 12:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Philip Piccio being discredited on the basis of political connections, whereas Al Yuchengco is being given the benefit of the doubt as to his sincerity in helping planholders, his integrity, his name, etc.?

Piccio's fighting for planholders' rights. Is he doing this to restore Marcos, Ver, etc. to power? It certainly doesn't seem that way.

On the other hand, what is Al Yuchengco all about? An Asiaweek article sometime back tells the real story of two bankers who threatened to merge RCBC with other banks. Al Yuchengco pretended he had no money. So when the two bankers called on him later to make a formal offer of $7M, Yuchengco stunned them by calling their bluff. Apparently, since the threat, he had secured funds from American banker-friends.

So, while I myself will not say Al Yuchengco is a fraud, I would say he is just about WILY enough to offer P250M to the PEP fund--seems small to me--presumably to help PEP planholders...but also well-timed and well-calculated enough to "convince" a judge looking for plus points that would justify a favorable ruling for YGC's rehab plan, come May 25 (or thereabouts).

So, let's not presume the best about AY's kind "offer", And let's not presume the worst about Philip Piccio, unless of course we are YGC trolls.

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 4:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Yuchengco (or is it Yuck-chengco)is scheduled to be a Commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary degree from the University of San Francisco McLaren College of Business on May 20, 2005. Check www.usfca.edu website. Let's inundate them with emails objecting to this travesty.

Email your personal stories as parents to the board of trustees and school officials.

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 5:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can we post the names of directors and the president of PPI from 1990 up to the present? (this is indicated in the general information sheet submitted to the SEC). If planholders will file criminal cases against directors, we will have to include the directors at the time of the sale of the plans and those who approved the spin-off of Lifetime Plans.

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 6:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let us enlist the support of Filipino alumni/alumnae of USF. They can email the USF alumni office and give their feedback on the PEP scam. (BTW, USF is a Jesuit school)

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 7:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a chapter of the Ateneo Alumni Association in San Francisco. We can link up with them, inform them about the PEP scam, and let them take the news to USF school officials.

One big fight!!

 
At Saturday, May 07, 2005 9:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can email the president of USF, Fr. Steven Privett at president@usfca.edu. Email him about the things Ambassador Yuchengco's companies did to the education of so many children in the Philippines. And they are about to confer honors on the guy.

 
At Sunday, May 08, 2005 1:14:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

PLANHOLDERS NOT WELCOME IN PLANHOLDERS FORUM

The Pacifist Planes Inc called a meeting today of their planeholders but the meet was abruptly brought to a halt because planeholders showed up! Pacifist Planes spokesperson Mr. Imbiernas told the NEWSYEAR that the planeholders were not invited, “Why did they show up? These troublemakers are just out to disrupt our meetings!” We will call for a meeting with our planeholders later, the spokesperson Mr Imbiernas indicated.

Asked why there was a banner proclaiming WELCOME PLANEHOLDERS!, Mr Imbiernas clarified that that was an old banner the venue failed to take down. He indicated that he would take the managers of the venue to court for the oversight, the samecourt where they filed their petition for drug rehabilitation where they got a favorable decision in a record FIVE days. It will be recalled that Pacifist Planes filed for drug rehabilitation last month claiming it could not pay its planeholders because all its money went to well….. forget about it, and that the only thing it could use to pay its planeholders were the coupon bonds from the POWERLESS CORP which would not be available until after the planeholders need for their money would have passed. Besides, it was learned that the coupon bonds were of the newsprint type, not white wove, all 500 reams of it. This makes their value a lot lower than if they were white wove.

And that’s how it was in the ridiculous world of PACIFIST PLANES! Where their word is not worth the paper it is written on. Join us again when we bring you the further adventures of …..PACIFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIST PLAAAAAAAANESSSSSSSSS!!!! EHHH BADIYABADIYABADIYATHATS”ALLFOLKS!!

 
At Monday, May 09, 2005 7:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following was in the Manila Standard last Friday. For what it's worth.

Yuchengco’s gesture

By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned.















By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned













By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned

 
At Monday, May 09, 2005 7:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following was in the Manila Standard last Friday. For what it's worth.

Yuchengco’s gesture

By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned.















By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned













By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned

 
At Monday, May 09, 2005 7:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The following was in the Manila Standard last Friday. For what it's worth.

Yuchengco’s gesture

By Jojo Robles

The octogenarian tycoon dipped into his deep pockets and came out with P250 million to save the reputation — and perhaps the entire fortune — that he had spent his entire life to build. Whether this would mollify those who have been figuratively storming the tycoon’s financial fortress in the weeks past remains to be seen.

Ambassador Alfonso Yuchengco had apparently had enough of the legalistic strategy taken early on by defenders of his family’s beleaguered Pacific Plans Inc. in deciding to make the unusual move of personally offering to bail out the ailing preneed. Though details of the personal bailout proposal are still forthcoming, it seems clear that the Yuchengco patriarch is truly willing to part with the cash.

It is no secret that the family’s wealth was built upon trust — its core businesses, after all, are banking and insurance, two sectors where people willingly part with their money in exchange for future security. In both industries, the Yuchengcos’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. and Malayan and Great Pacific Life insurance companies are acknowledged leaders.

It’s a matter of trust, as Billy Joel sang. And trust can only partly be restored — as the Yuchengcos found out painfully in the PPI debacle — by taking refuge in the law.

Some may argue that to an Al Yuchengco, P250 million is a pittance, especially when his whole humongous wealth could be on the line. Why not pay off all the outstanding payments, due and future, to all the 34,000 PPI plan holders? What’s several hundred million more, if it would mean the restoration of the investing public’s trust in a name that heretofore had always stood for stability and security?

Indeed, as many have pointed out, Yuchengco and his family have a moral, not just a legal, obligation to the people who bought into their preened offerings, including those who believed PPI and other preneed companies that offered to pay future school fees, no matter how high they got in the future.

Up to now, PPI still has a boatload of questions to answer, even if Yuchengco offers to pay every single policy holder every last centavo that the schools charge the beneficiaries of its doomed open-ended plans. And, in time, the company and its investors and officials will have to answer them all, in court, in the media, everywhere where people complain — rightly or wrongly — about having been duped by the company.

But the gesture of the taipan is a step in the right direction, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem to some. Trust that has been lost can be regained — it just takes a lot of hard work, sincerity and some very real money.

And Al Yuchengco certainly understands that, else he would have just sat tight and let his lawyers run the show.

* * *

That said, the 780,000 plan holders of College Assurance Plans could learn from the concerted actions done by the Pacific Plans beneficiaries and exert similar (if not more) pressure on the leading and now profusely bleeding preneed company that also offered to take care of their future educational needs.

If the Yuchengco patriarch’s personal bailout proposal proves anything, it’s that even the biggest companies are susceptible to changes in the public’s perception. And because a lot more people have a lot more invested in CAP, every one of them needs to take up their case in every available forum, if they want even just their money back.

Some have argued that the Yuchengcos have a lot more to lose, face-wise and financially, over the PPI debacle than the owners of CAP have in their own lukewarm bid to regain the confidence of the public. But no company or businessman should be immune to all the weapons that an aggrieved populace has at its disposal — and no one will begrudge them the use of any of these, given their situation.

If the owners of CAP will not be shamed into putting up the money that they promised, or even just to return the money they received, plus the appropriate interest as the law provides (as PPI earlier offered), then there are other ways to make them pay.

This is where the government should step in, in defense of the mostly poor people who invested in CAP. A truly responsive government would not leave the fate of CAP’s beneficiaries to the regulators and the courts — it would take an active hand in seeing to it that those who abused the trust of many are punished, their assets sold off to pay their obligations, if need be.

The government needs to make an example out of CAP, whose bouncing check payments and empty promises of future solvency have become as predictable as the opening of every school year in the month of June.

Let the chips fall where they may. And let those who would attempt to scam us in similar ways in the future be warned.

 
At Monday, May 09, 2005 9:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

College Education in Crisis

Five years from now, the Philippines’ tertiary
education will likely face a crisis if the current
trends in college enrolment and dropouts will
continue. Due to continuing tuition hikes more and
more students enrolled in private colleges and
universities find themselves either dropping out or
forced to transfer to state institutions.

By Carl Marc Ramota
Contributed to Bulatlat
(First of two parts)

Five years from now, the Philippines’ tertiary
education will likely face a crisis if the current
trends in college enrolment and dropouts will
continue.

Citing recent studies, the Anak ng Bayan Youth Party
revealed over the weekend that due to continuing
tuition hikes more and more students enrolled in
private colleges and universities find themselves
either dropping out or forced to transfer to state
institutions.

But the state universities and colleges (SUCs) are
plagued by similar problems: Not only are they few now
and their enrolment quotas limited, they are also
haunted by increases in tuition and other fees thus
forcing many state scholars to leave.

As a result, Raymond Palatino, vice president of Anak
ng Bayan (nation’s youth) said, students who can no
longer afford to study in expensive private tertiary
schools and are planning to transfer to public higher
education institutions may just have to give up their
dream of earning a college diploma.

Palatino also predicted an upsurge in the rate of
college dropouts and number of out-of-school youth in
the coming school year, a situation that will worsen
in 2010.

Recently, the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) National Commission
of the Philippines reported a measly 22 percent
overall student survival from 1st to 4th year college.
In June 2004, the Wallace report revealed that the
dropout rate in college is at a staggering all-time
high of 73 percent.

A similar study – a primer on the country’s education
system - was made by the National Union of Students of
the Philippines (NUSP) also in June last year.

Palatino said that access to public higher education
institutions, which are the last resort for students
who want to obtain a college degree, has become
impossible to many college hopefuls. While it is true
that SUCs offer a tuition lower than private schools,
educational expenditures in state schools and
universities have seen the biggest increases in recent
years, thus making it also inaccessible to ordinary
students.

Exodus from private school to public

A new report by the Commission on Higher Education
(CHED) shows that the number of tertiary population in
schoolyear 2002-2003 was 2.4 million compared to 1.87
million in 1994-1995. It cites however that while
state institutions had their population soar by
415,972 (from 399,623 to 815,595 during the same
period), private colleges and universities could only
absorb an additional 139,357 enrolees (or from 1.472
million to 1.611 million).

It is true that in 1997, enrollment in private
tertiary schools grew by 6.47 percent. By 2002 however
the figure plunged drastically to a -2.8 percent.
Enrollment figures in private schools fell by 46,354
in schoolyear 2002-2003 from 1,657,735 in the previous
year.

The exodus of college students enrolled in private
schools to state universities and colleges (SUCs) over
the last two decades is also shown in other CHED
records. In 1980, only 10 percent of college students
were studying in SUCs. By 1994, the number went up to
21 percent and in school year 2002-2003, it already
accounted for 34 percent of tertiary population.

Apparently, Palatino said, many college students have
been going in droves to SUCs in recent years because
of the incessant tuition and miscellaneous fee hikes
in private schools as mandated by the Education Act of
1982.

This is aggravated by the low priority that government
places on state education as manifested not only by
constantly chopping down education budgets but also by
reducing the number of public tertiary schools in the
country. From 271 in 1996, the number of public
tertiary institutions was down to only 173 by 2002.

As a result, enrollment figures in public tertiary
schools have also seen a sharp decline since 1997,
from a growth rate of 20.75 percent that year to only
0.9 percent by 2002.

Biggest tuition increase in SUCs

In recent years, the shift from public to private
funding of SUCs has resulted in the jacking up of
tuition and miscellaneous fees in all these
institutions. The biggest increase in tuition took
place in the Philippine Normal University (PNU) last
2003, from P10 to P50 per unit or 400 percent.

Ladderized tuition hikes are also ongoing in SUCs in
Central Luzon and Bicol until 2006. The

Central Luzon State University (CLSU) plans to
increase tuition and other fees by as much as 298
percent. Similarly, the Aklan Polytechnic Institute
will implement a 400 percent tuition increase within
four years, which effectively doubles tuition every
year.

Most of these increases were the result of the
imposition of a tuition scheme similar to the
Socialized Tuition Fee Adjustment Program (STFAP)
implemented in the University of the Philippines (UP)
in 1989. Under the program, the UP tuition shot up by
nearly 300 percent, from P11 to P300 per unit today.
This scheme is also now being implemented in public
technical and vocational schools in the country.

While some SUCs increased their tuition by more than a
hundred fold over the last years, some feigned by
pretending to maintain the same rates. What they did
however was to increase miscellaneous fees as well as
tuition in graduate schools.

At the Polytechnic University of the Philippines
(PUP), for instance, tuition remains at P12 per unit.
But the same university has imposed a 67-100 percent
hike in processing fees this school year. The biggest
increase was for the fine for late enrolment, from P10
to P100. And there are new fees charged: for shifting
form, verification of grades per subject, re-admission
fee and change of subject or schedule.

Other SUCs such as the University of Northern
Philippines in Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Samar State
Polytechnic College in Eastern Visayas collect a P200
development fee.

In UP, laboratory fees in five departments and
colleges have increased from P50 to P600. In its
graduate schools, tuition increased in 2001, from P300
per unit to a maximum of P700, a 66.67 to 400 percent
hike.

Anak ng Bayan Youth Party’s Palatino said that with
educational services now being treated as a mere
“commodity for trade,” educational institutions
previously insulated from market forces due to
relatively stronger state support in the past must
from now on bow to the "harsh discipline of the
market."

“By ‘privatizing’ institutions of higher learning, the
state must now clamp down on the proliferation of
non-viable campuses and course offerings,” he added.
“Apparently, the ideal of ‘non-viability’ is not
connected to any other concept than that of
profitability.”

Paying scholars

Overall, Palatino said, expenditures for public
education including tuition, lodging, food,
transportation and books have soared in recent years.
He cited the findings of the 1998 International
Comparative Higher Education Finance and Accessibility
Project of the University of Buffalo on Philippine
higher education which reveals that a student in a
local university or college (LUC) who lives with his
or her parents needs at least P46,950 every semester.
On the other hand, an iskolar ng bayan (state scholar)
who lives as an “independent adult” will need as much
as P101,650 a semester.

So now, most Filipino families can’t anymore afford to
send their children even to public schools, especially
given the stagnant wage level and declining income, he
said.

Based on the 2003 Family Income and Expenditure Survey
(FIES), the average Filipino family income went down
by 10 percent compared to year 2000 figures. The
inflation-adjusted average family income in 2003 fell
to P130,594 in 2003 from P145,121 in 2000.

Province of the elite

The current crisis in tertiary education, Palatino
said, should also be blamed on government’s policy of
rationalization. The policy allows SUCs to be treated
no longer as national agencies performing
socially-oriented activities and hence entitled to
government subsidy, but as income-earning entities.

“This further translates into incentives for
money-making tertiary schools, thereby fully
encouraging the commercialization of education,”
Palatino said. “The policy has ensured corporate
dominance even in public education, making tertiary
education the province of the elite.”

He said government’s own education policies further
inflate the ballooning uneducated population. “If it
will continue its present thrust on education, the
government will be driving more and more students out
of school every year,” he said. Bulatlat

Profit-makers Produce Mediocre Graduates

If the average tuition rate increase of 12 percent
continues for the next five years, the national
average per unit would reach P590.20 by 2010. By then
tuition would have increased by as high as 1,257.41
percent since 1990.

By Carl Marc Ramota
Contributed to Bulatlat
(Conclusion)

Many college students are dropping out of school, but
there are no similar danger signs as far as some
private universities and colleges are concerned. Their
new corporate owners are raking in profits as they
continue to hike tuition and other fees.

But the question is, do higher college costs mean
quality education? Not necessarily, if recent reports
about the results of board or licensure exams are any
indication.

In the current schoolyear, 381 out of 1,321 private
higher education institutions - or 29 percent of the
total – have applied for tuition increase. The
national average tuition increase is 11.37 percent or
P33.15; the current rate per unit is P334.89.

In the National Capital Region, the average tuition is
pegged at P614.54 posting a 10.83 percent increase
compared to last year’s figures.

A study made by Anak ng Bayan Youth Party on the
rising cost of tertiary education showed that in just
five years, from academic year 2000-2001 to the
present, the national average tuition rate has
increased by as much as 63 percent. The National
Capital Region (NCR) average rate, on the other hand,
went up by 57 percent.

Based on the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHED)
records on tuition increases, tuition was steadily
increasing by an average of almost 12 percent for the
last five years.

Deregulation of tuition

Raymond Palatino, vice president of Anak ng Bayan,
blamed the Education Act of 1982 for the staggering
tuition hikes in the last two decades. “By giving them
a free hand in determining tuition rate, the Education
Act effectively bestowed private school owners
limitless powers,” he said.

Batas Pambansa (national law) No. 232, otherwise known
as the Education Act of 1982, laid down the guidelines
and regulations governing the collection and
application of tuition and other fees by all
educational institutions. In particular, Section 42
gave private schools a free hand in determining
tuition rates thus allowing private schools to
increase the fee every school year.

The deregulated environment set by the Act ensured the
wholesale commodification of a fast-expanding private
tertiary education, Palatino said.

“This was also the reason behind the unexpected
collapse of the College Assurance Plan (CAP),”
Palatino said. “CAP’s downfall merely highlights how
the cost of education, particularly in the tertiary
level, has dramatically increased after the
deregulation of tuition.”

From 1990-1995 just before the Asian financial bubble
burst in 1997, tuition jumped to 275 percent. For the
last 15 years since 1990, tuition has swelled by a
whopping 670 percent.

Anak ng Bayan projects that if the average tuition
rate increase of 12 percent continues for the next
five years, the national average per unit would reach
P590.20 by 2010. By then tuition would have increased
by as high as 1,257.41 percent since 1990.

But these figures only speak of the average tuition
rate per unit in private schools. Most exclusive
schools charge tuition five times higher than the
average.

At present, Jose Rizal University (JRU) in
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila imposes the highest tuition
rate with P2,600 per unit. The runners-up include De
La Salle University (DLSU)-Manila (P1,506/unit); Asia
Pacific College (P1,240/unit); and Mapua Institute of
Technology (P1,254.64/unit).

Based on the average tuition increase every academic
year in these schools, tuition per unit in JRU would
reach P4,582.09 in five years; DLSU-Manila with
P2,654.10; Asia Pacific College with P2,185.31; and
MIT with P2,211.10. In 2010, a student with a full
21-unit load have to pay P96,223.89, P55,736.10,
P45,891.51 and P46,433.10, respectively.

“Clearly, the relentless hikes in tuition and other
fees have earned for private school owners millions of
profits over the last two decades,” Palatino says.
“This largely explains why some business tycoons like
Lucio Tan and the Yuchengcos are now venturing into
tertiary education.”

Most of these schools have consistently landed among
the country’s top 1,000 corporations since 1996. By
the end of 2003, nine schools were included in this
list. Their combined profits amounted to P1.13
billion.

Private schools frequently listed among the top
corporations in the country in terms of profit are the
Centro Escolar University (CEU), MIT, Far Eastern
University (FEU), UE, Philippine Maritime Institute
(PMI), Technological Institute of the Philippines
(TIP), AMA Computer University and STI College.

Substandard education

So, does expensive education mean quality education?
This is not so in the country: While the cost of
tertiary education has increased, the results of the
licensure examinations showed a continuous decline in
the quality of higher education in the last few years.


In 1995, the Task Force on Higher Education even said,
“College education in the Philippines is comparable to
top science high schools in the country and regular
secondary education in Europe and Japan.” This comment
is reflected by the pathetic results of annual
licensure examinations.

In the list of most popular programs, according to
CHED, are Teacher Education, Accountancy, Criminology,
Marine Transportation and Electronic and
Communications Engineering (ECE). However, records of
the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) show that
only a fraction among the thousands who flock to these
courses are able to attain their dream professional
career.

The national passing average for these courses and for
most programs offered in the Philippines has not even
reached 50 percent. From 1997 to 2001, the passing
rate for Accountancy was only 18.40 percent;
Criminology was better with 47.60 percent; and ECE was
the highest so far with 48.20 percent.

In the 2003 licensure exams, Accountancy remained the
lowest at 19 percent. Teacher Education, both in basic
and secondary level, had only a 26 percent passing
rate.

So mediocre were the results that in the same year,
CHED ordered the phasing out of 115 higher private
institutions that had a five percent or lower passing
rate in the licensure exams. Of these, only 17 schools
have followed the order.

Some schools are offering programs without government
permit. The most notorious of these, according to
CHED, is the ABE international School of Business and
Economics. ABE is currently offering degrees in Hotel
and Restaurant Management, Business Administration,
Tourism and Accountacy in its Caloocan, Taft and
Makati branches with no standard permit from CHED.

Dim future

Palatino urged lawmakers to repeal the Education Act
of 1982. “Our lawmakers must immediately act to stop
these tuition and miscellaneous fee increases and put
a moratorium on the proposed new round of hikes for
the next school year. Unless the government starts to
flex its muscles on these increases, we will be seeing
a higher drop-out rate and bigger number of
out-of-school youth in the next five years.”

Even CHED admits that “unless BP 232 (Education Act of
1982) is repealed or amended, the most viable course
for all concerned is to take a close look at where the
increases are going.”

“Unless the government reverses its present education
policies and its thrust to hand over tertiary
education to private sector and until it flexes its
muscles to stop the incessant hikes in tuition and
other fees, it will certainly bury the confidence,
hopes and great faith of the Filipino youth and the
nation for a brighter future ahead,” Palatino warned.

 
At Friday, May 13, 2005 7:05:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i believe the most important point pacific management has to make clear is how they divided the trust fund for trad and fixed value plans when they put up lifetime.It is possible they took out a disproportinate share with lifetime leaving trad plans very little of it.

 
At Friday, May 13, 2005 7:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the saturday event was an insult to all trad planholders.They started with a long prayer asking for understanding and compassion, followed it up with a mutt and jeff emcee act and then refused to answer questions.how amateurish could pacific management get.Wait, i have to puke

 
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