PHILIPPINES - "It was just too much to bear," said Edna Roxas, a 45-year-old mother of two, upon hearing the bad news that Prudentialife Plans Inc. (PPI) had collapsed.
Roxas, who worked as a midwife in Libya from 1991 to 2001 so she could send her daughter and son to college, said she had spent nearly P400,000 (S$11,500) over a five-year period during her overseas employment to pay premiums for two educational plans she had bought for them.
"I did not mind going to the Middle East and working in long-hour shifts because I wanted to support my children and make sure they go to college," Roxas told the Inquirer. Her job, she recalled, would often require her to work 24 hours.
What she thought was a valuable investment proved to be good in helping pay the tuition of her daughter only for the first year in college. Her son, who would be in college next year, will never benefit from the educational plan.
Minerva Lubong, 61, who owns an eatery in Nueva Vizcaya province, expressed shock upon learning that PPI was in liquidation. She helped her husband, Abraham, who works as a farmer, pay for a pension plan bought from the preneed firm.
The couple had banked on the preneed policy to help support them in old age.
"We were told that buying a pension plan was a good investment. It turned out we lost money because of what happened to PPI. It is difficult to accept that we just lost our money that way," Minerva said in Filipino.
The Lubongs paid a total of P84,900 from 2002 to 2006 as premiums for the pension plan, which was supposed to have matured last year. Under the preneed policy, which was in her husband's name, they were supposed to get P100,000 (S$2,900) in benefits last year and P100,000 in 2017.