More Filipinos depend on pawning to ease pandemic woes

More Filipinos depend on pawning to ease pandemic woes
CONTINUOUSLY GROWING ITS NETWORK TO REACH MORE KA-CEBUANAS. Amidst the pandemic, Cebuana Lhuillier opens more branches to consistently meet the micro-financial needs of every Filipino. Photo shows one of the recently opened Cebuana Lhuillier container van stores located in Kiblawan, Davao del Sur

For over three decades, Cebuana Lhuillier has been a constant ally for many Filipinos, especially those in dire need of financial resources due to emergencies and unexpected expenses. Thanks to its many branches and consistent top-notch service, Cebuana Lhuillier has become a valuable member of every Filipino family since its early days as an emerging pawnshop brand in the early ‘80s. 

“Cebuana Lhuillier has always believed in its mission of financial inclusion – ensuring that every Filipino has consistent and reliable access to financial services, especially during times of need. The company has remained consistent with this promise in the last three decades, as reflected in our product offerings, service innovations, and constant efforts to increase our branches to reach many of our kababayans,” shared Cebuana Lhuillier president & CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier. 

The need for quick, easy, and reliable access to cash became more pronounced when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines in early 2020 and strict lockdowns were put in place, with pawnshops serving as a one-stop shop for easy loan and remittance transactions. 

A trusted ally during tough times 

For clients like Melanie Gratil of Sorsogon, pawning provides her and her family with the opportunity to start anew while also providing funds for important expenses, “Makakatulong ito pandagdag ng puhunan sa aming fruit stand at gastusin ng mga bata sa eskwelahan. Dito ako sa Cebuana Lhuillier kasi maganda ang appraisal rates nila.” 

The importance of higher appraisal fees was echoed by another long-term client Jhonyfer Gapa who credits the high appraisal fee as a big factor for his continued patronage. Like Melanie, Jhonyfer uses his pawning proceeds to start and sustain a small business. 

Through pawning, clients like Melanie and Jhonyfer are given the opportunity to earn a decent living and continuously provide for their families through their small business which continued to flouris, even in the midst of the pandemic. However, for Raquel Cabigting of Angeles, Pampanga, pawning her valued jewelries has allowed her to sustain a living, especially during these tough times: “May pambili po kami ng pagkain. Salamat po at laging nandiyan ang Cebuana Lhuillier kapag nangangailangan kami ng pera. Natutulungan kami ng pagsasangla,” she shares.

One of the reasons why pawnshops remain an important part of every community is because it’s always accessible to those in need. “Natutuwa ako dahil hindi na ako mahihirapan na magrenew ng sangla dahil nalipat ko na ito sa pinakamalapit na Cebuana branch,” shares Rosana Rosales of Angadanan, Isabela who always relies on pawning for emergency expenses. By moving her pawned items from another pawnshop to a Cebuana Lhuillier pawnshop nearer her residence, she managed to save time and expenses on commute, and remain safe from any unnecessary exposure, especially during these times. 

Melanie, Jhonyfer, Raquel, and Rosana are just some of the many Filipinos who continue to rely on pawnshops amidst the pandemic lockdowns. In a recent “Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2021” report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), 64% of households were in financial distress and had to employ coping strategies. Of this, six out of ten Filipino households that experienced these financial difficulties had to pawn some of their possessions, or worse, reduce their food intake, in order to survive the pandemic. (Source)

Committed to put more value into pawning

Cebuana Lhuillier understands the impact of its pawning product in the lives of many Filipinos. Since the beginning of the pandemic, all of its branches remained open to serve the long lines of clients waiting to transact at their doors—with many of its branch operations staff remaining committed to keeping their doors open regardless of the lockdown. 

To ensure accessibility and convenience at all times, the company is currently in the midst of branch expansion efforts to intensify its presence especially in rural areas where access to financial services is lacking. To date, the company has already opened 40 more branches, including a stand-alone container van branch located in Kiblawan, a second-class municipality located in Davao del Sur. 

The three-decade-old company’s commitment to financial accessibility and mobility does not end with the continuous push for expanded physical network, but also extends to its use of various digital channels. Last year, the company launched Cebuana-From-Home, a web-based platform which brings the full pawning experience right at the comfort of its clients’ residences. The page allows users to pawn, renew, and redeem at their convenience. Aside from the website, clients can also do their pawning transactions by typing “Cebuana from Home” in Cebuana Lhuillier’s Facebook Messenger and by also calling or texting the branch nearest them. 

Cebuana Lhuillier continues to offer its clients up to 35% higher appraisal rate, giving more value and pawn proceeds for their pawned jewelry and gadgets. Giving its Ka-Cebuanas even more bang for their buck has allowed the company to continuously earn the loyalty of its clients through the years. 

Lhuillier adds, “By providing our clients greater accessibility to our pawning service—whether through physical or online channels—while still ensuring that they get the best value for their pawned items highlights Cebuana Lhuillier’s commitment to grow and evolve based on the ever-evolving needs of the market.” 

To further add excitement to the company’s push for its pawning service and to usher in the coming Christmas season, Cebuana Lhuillier recently launched the “Sangla Xpress to the Max,” promo for new pawn and pawn renewal transactions. At stake is a brand-new motorcycle and cash prizes for lucky clients who will transact at any Cebuana Lhuillier branch nationwide or through Cebuana-from-Home. Promo runs until November 14, 2021. 

Supplementing the “Sangla Xpress to the Max” promo are recently-launched promos for pawning and remittance transactions specifically customized, based on the company’s regional markets nationwide. With varying prizes from gold j, sacks of rice, motorcycles, gadgets, noche buena packages, and cash prizes up to half a million pesos, the market-specific promotions are pegged to give additional incentives and excitement for Ka-Cebuana clients all the way till December 31, 2021. 

For more details on Cebuana Lhuillier and its latest promotions, go to www.cebuanalhuillier.com or visit the Cebuana Lhuillier Facebook page.

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