SEC calls on lenders to assist borrowers

By JamesA. Loyola

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is strongly en¬couraging all lending and financ¬ing companies to take steps to help borrowers cope with the impact and challenges brought about by the new coronavirus pandemic.

In a Notice, the Commission put forward debt relief measures that financing and lending companies may adopt such as lowering of in¬terest rates, waiver or reduction of penalties, charges, and other fees, loan term extension, suspension of collection, payment holiday and debt consolidation.

Financing and lending companies may also develop and implement their own programs or schemes that will provide financial relief to their borrowers.

The SEC, through its Corporate Governance and Finance Depart¬ment, is likewise communicating directly with financing and lending companies, which have been the subject of numerous complaints from the public, to urge them to adopt schemes that will help their borrowers.

“We call on financing and lend¬ing companies to adopt all possible measures that will help ease the burden of their borrowers amid this public health emergency, which has disrupted the everyday lives of Filipinos, including their liveli¬hoods,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

A number of financing and lend¬ing companies have already adopted debt relief measures.