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Social Tourism: How to Handle Debts when Hot Money is Scarce Due to PH’s Economic Turmoils

hot money

By: Elena Grace Flores

The country’s investment records during the first quarter of 2019 show that short-term investments or hot money are leaving the country quicker than in 2018. This situation worsens at the beginning of 2020. Small entrepreneurs immediately feel this as well as individuals who live on a daily grind. May it be from taxi drivers to food sellers in public stalls. Social Tourism enthusiast, Rafael Dionisio shares his experience with a farmer who refuses his monetary contribution and instead, requests for a more tangible need – seeds. Money can disappear in an instant and you’ll end up in debts. While seeds can flourish during the waiting time, explains the good soil cultivator.

YouTube video by Elena Grace Flores
Agricultural Tourism Needs Help Amidst Coronavirus Panic
Tourism advocate for social tourism, Rafael Dionisio explains how farmers can benefit from their products amidst the coronavirus scare.

Hands-on Experience

Rafael Dionisio who is part of the Make a Difference Travel program narrates his experience with a farmer in Zambales.  A farmer who has an ancestral domain for agriculture said that if he accepts the money, he might spend it on gadgets, drinking, and other things that do not last like being fed for a day. He then directs Dionisio to take a look at the vast empty land. If they have a commitment from their tourism partner to provide them with seeds, that would surely go a long way.

Contributors to the Bad Economy

The geopolitical tensions between the US and Iran, the US-China trade negotiations and the current coronavirus scare put not only the general public to panic. They drive investors out of the country that is seeking a safer haven for their hot money. The travel bans alone may be effective in sparing the people from the coronavirus spread – but they also cause them to be empty-handy for the daily expenses.  The series of earthquakes and the Taal volcano eruption made them worse.

Quick Loans Can be a Burden

Once the pocket is empty and families need to be fed, one can only opt for the easily available quick loans. The offers are everywhere taking advantage of people’s tough situations. Some companies are conservatively considerate in their payment terms despite the high interests that are quite helpful. Tala, Atome, and Asteria loans are the reliable ones on that aspect.  Many are just loan sharks especially the hot money providers or lenders from overseas.

Staying Afloat when Money is Scarce

Getting more loans to pay off debts can be disastrous. It is best to sit down, relax, and think clearly when negotiating with lenders. Use the idle period in preparing for the next season or develop new skills that can contribute to better opportunities as business peaks up again. Know that the SEC orders financing companies, lending agents and their third-party service providers to no longer harass borrowers and employ unfair means to collect the debt. Those found to be violating the circular face penalties ranging from P25,000 for lending companies and P50,000 for financing companies for the first offense to P50,000 to up to P1 million for both for the third offense and possible suspension or revocation of their license.

Fr. Jose Bosch Innovative Skills Training Advocacy Cooperative (ISTAC)

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