The drivers gathered at about 9:30am, asking for debt relief, saying they were representing many more tourism van drivers who have been unable to pay car loan installments due to the lack of work caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Due to the COVID-19 situation, there have been no tourists. As a result, operators of vehicle tourist services are suffering a lot, they have had no income and are unable to make payments on car loans Therefore, the relevant departments of the financial institution are requested to sympathise and help to freeze their debts for at least six months without interest,” one of the drivers said.
The bank repossessing the vehicles would not help the situation, the driver added.
“If the car is seized, we will be unable to work and Phuket reopens to tourists on July 1, there will be no cars to serve the tourists,” the driver pointed out.
“So we gathered together to ask for sympathy from Thanachart Bank and file a formal request for the bank provide assistance and help us be able to repay our loans later,” the driver added.
Representatives of Thanachart Bank agreed to meet with the drivers to discuss terms of future repayments, though they talks have yet to reach a conclusion, The Phuket News was told.