Pre-need company Eternal Plans Inc. is taking drastic measures to ensure that the company survives the economic devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Elmer Lorica, president and COO of Eternal Plans, the sustainability of the company is the paramount consideration in the face of a decline in revenues by 70 percent during the second quarter of this year, with minimal improvement expected up to the end of the year.
Among the drastic measures being implemented are bringing down operations costs to the barest minimum by reducing the number of branches and support staff. Eighteen branches are either to be merged or closed by the end of June, and 70 percent of employees either retrenched or sent on forced leave.
Lorica said “painful as these measures are, these have to be done to ensure that the company survives the Covid-19 crisis. The benefit that we offer is happening in the future. Eternal Plans has to be there to make this happen.”
Eternal Plans management hopes that by taking these radical moves, the company will better overcome the gnawing uncertainty surrounding the virus itself, the availability of the vaccine to fight the disease and the effects on the economy of efforts taken to control its spread.
Likewise, the investment of the Trust Fund, from which the benefits of planholders are drawn, is doing poorly. Trust Fund income and value, which has yet to recover fully from the pre-need crisis, have taken another hit with the pandemic the whole world is currently experiencing.
At depressed value, Trust Fund assets cannot be liquidated without incurring losses. With this current situation, according to Lorica, the capacity of the company to release plan benefits on time will be gravely affected. Some releases of due benefits will be deferred. Notification of concerned planholders of this predicament is currently on-going.
However, Lorica emphasized that the memorial services benefit of the life plan will be expeditiously rendered as needed. The company has more than 300 accredited mortuaries nationwide that will provide the memorial services.
All companies worldwide, big and small, are feeling the devastating blow of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each one is doing drastic measures to hedge against the fall out. According to Lorica, everything that Eternal Plans does is to ensure the sustainability of the company for the sake of all its planholders.
He believes that the situation is evolving. Thus, Eternal Plans remains vigilant and continues to explore other remedies to facilitate early recovery.
Lorica, who also serves as the president of Philippine Federation of Pre-need Plan Companies, is confident that with the measures in place and the continuing vigilance of the company, Eternal Plans will weather the storm.
Eternal Plans is the pre-need arm of the ALC Group of Companies established by Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua.