June 21, 2024

Officials of the Blessed Association of Retired Persons (BARP) confirmed to the city council on May 20 the company is financially strapped resulting in its non-payment of 402 mutual aid claims and failure to pay its loan at the Landbank.

BARP interim Chief Executive Officer Rogelio Urbanozo said the board of directors had to take “last ditch” measures to cope with its mounting obligations, one of which is to enter into the conditional sale of the BARP building to the Baguio Market Vendors Multipurpose Cooperative (Bamarvempco).

Urbanozo said BARP has yet to pay P55 million in mutual aid for 402 deceased members; P15M to the contractor of the building, and has been issued a notice of foreclosure by the Landbank for failing to pay their monthly amortization.

Urbanozo said the foreclosure has been stalled with the Ba-marvempco’s advance payment of P12M but this is temporary as the BARP cannot produce enough funds to continue with the payment.

He said income from leasing out spa-ces in the building is only about P400,000 a month, while the monthly amortization is P851,000. 

Urbanozo said BARP’s financial concerns started at the height of the pandemic when mutual aid claims increased due to the high number of casualties, mostly the elders, who died due to complications of the Covid-19.

Contributions to the mutual aid also sharply decreased because many of their members have been unemployed.

Those with loans have also defaulted in payment affecting the company’s financial standing.

At present, out of the 6,750 members, only 4,900 regularly pay their dues, Urbanozo said, but maintained BARP can still be salvaged if all members pay their obligations.

He said BARP is not yet bankrupt but hinted that if there is no improvement in their financial status, the final recourse will be to declare insolvency.

“We are trying to cope with our obligations. The only recourse we have is to campaign for the members to pay and to recruit new members,” Urbanozo said, adding, selling their building is only a final option.

The BARP building is assessed to cost P100M.

Some members who attended the council’s session opposed the sale of the building saying as part owners, they should have been consulted.

Urbanozo said the options with how to solve BARP’s predicament has been presented in a general assembly and will be presented again in another assembly before the month ends.

The city council advised the BARP officials to rebuild member confidence as the circulation of reports of its financial status may have dampened their interest in the BARP.

BARP was founded on July 24, 1999 and later registered as a foundation on Nov. 5, 1999.

A BARP cooperative was later formed as the group’s business arm. – Rimaliza A. Opiña