I’ve been following the Pacific Plan fiasco intently, both in the media treatment (which I think is already thinning) and in the claimants’ blogs.
Of course, there are a lot of emotions involved. This is not like the Pepsi 349 case because the claimants here have already invested time, effort and of course, money so their children are assured of enough tuition money when time comes. In the Pepsi 349 case, there is no initial investment from the claimants apart from the emotional kind. I am already a father for more than seven years. I’m already fuming mad when someone bullies Bea in school. Just imagine if someone bullies their children out of a future through absolutely no fault of their own. I was sold a Pacific Plan some two years ago but decided to discontinue it, simply because I do not believe in fixed value educational plan. Might as well call it an annuity.
I believe in the traditional educational plan, but with the skyrocketting tuition fees brought about by derregulation, I don’t believe pre-need companies can deliver on their promises unless the claimants pay huge premiums up front.
As a lawyer, I therefore have the following comments on this:
1. For the claimants, PARTICIPATE vigrously in the rehabilitation case. There is a big difference between rehabilitation and insolvency. Rehabilitation simply means that the company is in trouble but not bankrupt (yet). Hence, there is still a chance that the company may honor your claims IN FULL.
Dissect the reasons why PPI needs rehabilitation. Participate in the selection of a receiver. Dissect the rehabilitation plan if it is truly feasible. Otherwise, push for insolvency immediately and you will get more than what they are offering you right now. Much more.
And you can only do that if you participate in the proceedings.
I cannot say much more since I need to see the petition, the plans PPI sold and other pertinent documents to make a more detailed comment.
2. If the rehabilitation was caused by mismanagement, PROSECUTE the guilty persons to the full extent of the law. In this regard, I find the PPI line that the increased tuition fees depleted their trust funds rather odd. Trust funds, by nature, cannot be touched by the company that keeps it. It is, by nature, kept “in trust” for somebody else, namely the claimants.
Of course someone will contest this by saying that I oversimplify PPI’s situation. So it’s for you to find out if I’m correct or not.
3. There should be reforms in the pre-need industry. I think pre-need companies should at the very least buy insurance so that things like these never happen. Insurance companies, by law, do this by a system of reinsurance. Something similar should be done by these pre-need companies.
Here I find the silence of Congress peculiar. This is the perfect occasion for an inquiry in aid of legislation. Right now, they are more concerned with the complaint of Ana Leah Javier against their own rather than the future of their constituents’ children. Remember this when the next election comes.
4. DO NOT LET UP. They are relying on the Filipino’s short term memory and hoping that this will die down with the next big issue. You know how the media plays and how they’re playing you (for fools). Do not allow that to happen. For the PPI claimants’ bloggers, continue to do what you do. Remember who you’re fighting for.
5. Finally, this may sound trivial but for a company supposedly in trouble, PPI’s lawyer can still afford a Nokia 9500, Nokia’s top-of-the-line phone. Its materialistic of course, but I can usually judge a person accurately by their celfones and watches. I’m usually correct. For a troubled corporation, their lawyer is still enjoying the good life, unless it can be explained by some other reason.