Loyola Plans Consolidated Inc. has shut down all its branches outside Metro Manila, as the pre-need firm is no longer financially viable enough to maintain offices besides its head office in Makati, regulators said.
In a statement on Thursday, the Insurance Commission (IC) said that the pre-need firm closed down its branch offices in Dagupan, Tugegarao, Lucena City, Los Baños in Laguna, Legaspi City, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Bacolod City, and Davao City.
Insurance Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc said that in an initial meeting of the IC with Loyola Plans, the firm explained that the closure of its branch offices was part of its ongoing plan to centralize its business operations in its head office in Makati, as it was no longer viable for the company to maintain its branch offices.
“However, we have yet to receive the formal explanation of Loyola Plans regarding this matter,” he added.
Loyola Plans President Jesusa Puyat Concepcion gave an assurance that Loyola plan holders in the provinces will not be affected by the closure of the company’s provincial branches, as it has a standard operating procedure in place for the handling and processing of claims.
Meanwhile, the IC said it formed a Crisis Management Team specifically tasked to closely monitor the processing of the due and valid claims of Loyola plan holders.
“Yesterday, the Crisis Management Team went to the head office of Loyola Plans to ensure that the plan-holders are properly and promptly attended to and served. The team will be positioned at the head office of Loyola Plans to oversee processing and pay-out of claims until such time that all those with overdue matured benefits have already been settled,” Dooc said.
As committed by Loyola Plans to the IC, the pre-need firm already started paying out overdue matured benefits to its plan holders as early as Monday afternoon, the regulator also announced.
It recently offered to the IC its non-cash assets amounting to P1.873 billion to fully comply with its trust fund deficiency of P238 million.
It said the firm already released the checks due to 36 plan holders who have filed a claim before it.
In addition, 61 checks representing the payment of matured benefits of the plan holders who have filed a complaint against Loyola before the IC were turned over to the pre-need regulator for releasing.
As of March 31, the Commission received a total of 95 complaints against Loyola Plans for non-payment of matured benefits.
All of the 95 complaints have already been addressed by Loyola Plans–13 have already been previously settled, 20 are pending for verification by Loyola and being processed for the issuance of checks, while 61 are with checks ready for releasing.
“Yesterday afternoon, Loyola Plans turned over a total of 61 checks to us for releasing to claimants who lodged a complaint with us. In fact, some plan holders had already claimed their checks. These checks are all dated April 18, 2016,” Dooc said.
“We want to assure the plan holders of Loyola that the company will honor and make good all its commitments and obligations to its plan holders as they fall due. We are closely monitoring the claims settlement process of Loyola to fast track the release of overdue claims. The Commission will issue further announcement and advisory with regard to this matter,” he added.
IC said a list of claimants whose checks are in its custody and ready for releasing is posted in its website (www.insurance.gov.ph).
Plan holders with claims for matured benefits filed directly with Loyola, on the other hand, are advised to wait for the advisory from Loyola Plans on the schedule of check releasing.
Loyola plan holders are advised to regularly visit the website of the IC for updates and advisories.
“The plan holders may also get in touch with the IC via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (02) 5238461 to 70 local 127 or 103 and (02) 4041758 or the Public Assistance and Mediation Division located at Ground Floor, Insurance Commission, 1071 United Nations Avenue, Ermita Manila,” it said.