Financial institutions, including banks and non-banks, were invited to discuss terms of repayments at a special multi-mediation session held at Phuket Community Hall in Phuket Town yesterday (June 16).
The event was attended by Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana together with Vice Governor Phichet Panaphong and Phuket Provincial Office Chief Thalerngsak Nuchprahan.
Governor Phakaphong explained that Phuket has been “massively affected” by the COVID-19 situation by the simple fact that no tourists have been coming to Phuket.
“Tourism businesses – hotels, restaurants and tour agencies – generally generate around 85% of Phuket’s gross provincial product (GPP),” Governor Phakaphong said.
“With no tourists coming to Phuket, these have been affected, leading to problems with debt,” he added.
To help facilitate a solution to the extra pressure Phuket businesses are facing from outstanding debts, the Phuket government yesterday aimed to mediate between local business owners and 15 financial institutes, both banks and non-banks, invited to the event.
At the sessions, the main focus was extending the deadline by which debts were to be paid, and reducing the money to be repaid as monthly installments.
“We expect this may help local business owners and Phuket residents,” Governor Phakaphong said.
Event attendee Rachin Thongmakkul praised the mediation sessions. “This is a good idea to set up a place where creditors and debtors can together find the best solution.
“I believe that most people will still suffer with housing or vehicle debts, especially after the government’s debt-relief programs end, as people have not been able to work,” he said.
Another attendant, Chalermpong Seangdee, also praised the idea.
“The negotiations will succeed if financial institutions understand the pressure that business owners have to face during this crisis,” Mr Chalermpong said.
“Business owners have not been helped by the government, so we want financial institutions to help us by reducing the interest to be repaid on outstanding debts,” he added.