Within spitting stance
And so our motorbiking leader Duterte Harley could also do an Andrea Bocelli, as he rendered his version of “Time to Say Goodbye” during his official state visit to China.
He dedicated the number, specifically, to the United States.
Let us remember the Duterte administration built up the visit as a business trip that would focus on promoting economic ties between the Philippines and China.
It seemed, therefore, that Duterte Harley had to ditch Washington to woo Beijing for huge investments and loans—plus millions of tourists.
Think tanks in business thus already began to wonder what his next stance would be in foreign relations. Would he perhaps impose a nationwide ban on spitting?
Anyway, Duterte Harley seemed to be playing Beijing and Washington against each other in their geopolitics—their obvious competition for dominance in our region.
And that stance would require rather utmost sophistication in foreign relations. It could never be just like some video war game, in which you could build up your military and conquer your opponent using the ultimate weapon: the joystick.
The publicly listed low-cost housing developer 8990 Holdings introduced yet another innovation: teaching its buyers a little financial sophistication.
Reports said 8990 Holdings tied up with giant insurance company Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) to provide life insurance to customers for free. It seemed 8990 Holdings obtained from Sun Life some heavily discounted packages for life insurance and investment schemes.
The real estate company would then be able to use the life insurance as part of its incentives to home buyers, say, to keep their accounts current.
Moreover, 8990 Holdings would offer to its buyers all sorts of products in mutual funds, designed to be affordable to their differing income brackets.
In other words, the company would pass on the benefits it got from Sun Life to its customers.
From what I gathered, it was Sun Life that actually approached 8990 Holdings for this unique arrangement, the first of its kind in the country.
The insurance company perhaps believed that if the home buyers could afford low cost housing, they could also afford low cost insurance, thus becoming Sun Life customers in the future.
Farfetched, you would say?
What really convinced Sun Life of such a possibility was that the home buyers already showed “financial discipline” as customers of 8990 Holdings.
They already proved they had that elusive quality among buyers of low-cost housing units: they would not miss on any mortgage payment.
That kind of financial discipline would be the result of one major innovation of 8990 Holdings in low-cost housing.
It could be the only seller of anything in the whole wide world that would force the customers to undergo various seminars on financial literacy. Else, they could not buy anything from 8990 Holdings.
The seminars presumably helped them in learning some tools in basic finance, such as household budgeting, a discipline they probably never heard of all their lives.
As the buyers of 8990 Holdings learned those tools, they became “disciplined” home buyers, always meeting their mortgage obligations on time.
From what I gathered, 8990 Holdings could easily have more than P20 billion worth of receivables at any one time from tens of thousands of individual accounts.
Yet, you could never guess what percentage are active performing accounts. Yes, more than 96 percent! Better than any business group.
Moreover, 8990 Holdings could actually boast that more than 90 percent of its buyers actually remitted their monthly payment for the units on time.
That was what Sun Life probably saw in 8990 Holdings customers—they had the discipline to meet monthly payments, such as those for insurance products.
That should be a big deal in this country where pyramiding schemes could still victimize school teachers and retirees and even professionals.
Just how many of us could be considered financially sophisticated?
Let me quote the SEC: Sophisticated investors have enough knowledge and experience in business matters to evaluate the risks and merits of an investment.
Do you think there are still many of that kind here?
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