Getting people to pay their debts in the Philippines

Bartolome Malacura, davao - bad payers shameIn the time I have been in the Philippines there is one thing Filipinos generally don’t like and that’s public humiliation. Bartolome Malacura had obviously had enough of “utang” (credit) at his store and decided to post all his debtors for public viewing outside.

There is an odd thing about credit as people almost feel they have a right not to pay it sometimes with the arrogance they show and get annoyed at you for even asking for the money they owe you. Generally I would tell people not to lend anything and I do mean anything out. I have had 2 welding machines dropped off buildings by people “hiring” and although you do come across people quick to ask for credit in many cases they already assume they will never pay it back. Sounds a bit unfair but if you look at Sari-Sari stores and other small businesses and ask why they closed its normally down to bad payers and giving out credit.

Where we are ourselves there is an empty sari-sari store that quickly went out of business after its “utang” was never repaid and if anything the people will try to extend it rather than pay it off. Dealt with debt payments myself and hear every sob story going but in reality they shouldn’t be borrowing if they can’t repay it. You see sometimes it can be as simple as they get paid on Friday and ask on Wednesday if they can have a Kilo of rice or other small foods in credit until they get paid. They then disappear on a beer bender on the Friday and by Monday they are back asking if they can extend credit even though they have yet to pay you. Excuses vary from having to find money for a child’s school project to emergency funds needed for illness. Generally they are never true and just hoping you will take pity on them.

Glad to see though Bartolome Malacura has forced some of the debts to be repaid by embarrassment. Its also a warning to others not to be so quick to lend out as you are more than likely kissing goodbye to your money or goods.