STI urged to consider Benitez family’s offer to save PWU
STI urged to consider Benitez family’s offer to save PWU
It's for the sake of the school and the students, says the majority owner of the Philippine Women’s University

MANILA, Philippines – Consider the offer for the sake of the school and its students, the Benitez family, majority owner of Philippine Women’s University (PWU), urged STI Education Holdings Incorporated led by businessman Eusebio Tanco.

STI is set to foreclose another property owned by the Benitez family in Davao – the third of the properties at stake in an escalating dispute with the family over the PWU.

Unlad Resources Development, corporate arm of the Benitez family, through its president Patrick Caoile wrote to STI President Monico Jacob, proposing a settlement offer.

In the letter, Unlad offered P150 million ($3.38 million) downpayment to be paid within 3 weeks after an agreement is reached. The P400 million ($9.01 million) balance is proposed to be paid within 6 months.

“We believe that the above schedule/terms of payment is a workable, rational, and reasonable solution that shall safeguard the school, and at the same time, provide STI Holdings a rate of return for its loans to PWU and Unlad,” Caoile said.

Caoile wrote that they have no further desire to escalate the tension between the STI group and the Benitez family for the good of PWU, most especially the students.

However, the P550 million ($12.41 million) settlement offer is significantly lower than the nearly P923 million ($20.94 million) that STI wants to recover from Unlad.

The amount would cover investments, interest, penalties, lawyers’ fees, and value added taxes that STI spent since 2011.

STI bailed out PWU in 2011. It bought the debt paper from BDO Unibank and provided additional funds to pay for salaries and wages, utilities, repair leaks, retirement pay, upgrade of laboratory facilities and learning, and other operational expenses.

STI also provided the professional and technical support to establish the financial, accounting, and human resources system PWU needed.

In December, STI declared the Benitezes in default of its loan to them.

In a counter move, the Benitez group filed legal action against STI. –

US$1 = P44.32

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