Pre-need Firm Explains Delay in Payment

MANILA, Philippines—A pre-need company yesterday listed a variety of reasons for the delay in the release of a full payment certificate to a Virac, Catanduanes retiree.

These include missing records, resignations of branch managers and collection supervisors, and full computerization of transactions that was done only in 2007.

Manuel A. Magistrado, retired prosecutor of Virac, has filed a criminal complaint at the provincial prosecutor’s office against an official of St. Peter Life Plan, a company based in Quezon City, and its collector in the capital town.

Magistrado, 81, said he was denied the certificate of full payment by the pre-need firm despite having completed his payment for a memorial plan in 2004.

Named respondents were Florita B. Vitangcol, the president and general manager of St. Peter Life Plan, who signed a life plan agreement with Magistrado in 2001, and Joyce De la Cruz, the firm’s authorized collector in Catanduanes.

In a counter-affidavit filed on behalf of St. Peter Life Plan, De la Cruz said there was no fraud or intent to deceive in the delay in the issuance of Magistrado’s certificate of full payment.

“Unfortunately, his request was not immediately acted upon due to problems in account records reconciliation,” De la Cruz said.

She said branch offices “encountered difficulty in reconciling records” because some branch managers, collection supervisors, and staff resigned without turning over records.

She said when the firm went into full computerization in 2007, some records were lost or missing.

“This resulted in the delay in issuing Magistrado’s COFP (certificate). The head office was not even aware of Attorney Magistrado’s request,” De la Cruz said in the counter affidavit.

Magistrado said the company was aware of his demand for the certificate because “I wrote them twice (first in July and the second in August 2008), and they acknowledged my letters through registered mail cards.”

Magistrado also demanded the release of his wife’s certificate. His wife completed payment in July 2005.

Magistrado said he was not withdrawing his complaint.

by Doris C. Dumlao and Juan V. Sarmiento Jr.

source: Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:31:00 06/06/2009