During the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila that left 50% of banks operating on limited capacity, most micro-financial institutions continued to operate, offering pawning, money remittance, bills payment, and microinsurance products and services to low-income Filipinos.
Cebuana Lhuillier was one of those microfinancial services companies who continued to operate, ensuring that 90% of its branches were open, especially for those who need to pawn their gadgets or jewelries to avail of quick cash loans. The company also serviced remittance transactions for those who needed to receive or send money.
“It was very challenging just to ensure that we have as many branches open as possible. After putting safety protocols in place for both our front-liners and our clients, we were able to continue our services, with only a small number of branches severely hampered,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier.
With an extended community quarantine, the company makes sure that all of its branches will continue to observe proper health protocols, with all branch personnel, including guards on duty, required to wear proper hygiene gear including gloves and masks. It also implements social distancing and disinfection measures, as well as a “no-contact” rule to avoid the spread of any disease.
As the COVID-19 threat still remains, the presence of micro-financial institutions will continue to assure Filipinos that they will always have something they can rely on for tougher times.