Cram-Down Clause under the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010

Cram-down is the power of the rehabilitation court to approve and implement a rehabilitation plan notwithstanding the objection of the majority of creditors. As noted in the case of Bank of the Philippine Islands vs. Sarabia Manor Hotel Corporation (G.R. No. 175844, 29 July 2013), the “cram-down” clause, which is currently incorporated in Section 64 of Republic Act No. 10142, also known as the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010, “is necessary to curb the majority creditors’ natural tendency to dictate their own terms and conditions to the rehabilitation, absent due regard to the greater long-term benefit of all stakeholders. Otherwise stated, it forces the creditors to accept the terms and conditions of the rehabilitation plan, preferring long-term viability over immediate but incomplete recovery.” Section 64 reads:

Section 64Creditor Approval of Rehabilitation Plan. – The rehabilitation receiver shall notify the creditors and stakeholders that the Plan is ready for their examination. Within twenty (2Q) days from the said notification, the rehabilitation receiver shall convene the creditors, either as a whole or per class, for purposes of voting on the approval of the Plan. The Plan shall be deemed rejected unless approved by all classes of creditors w hose rights are adversely modified or affected by the Plan. For purposes of this section, the Plan is deemed to have been approved by a class of creditors if members of the said class holding more than fifty percent (50%) of the total claims of the said class vote in favor of the Plan. The votes of the creditors shall be based solely on the amount of their respective claims based on the registry of claims submitted by the rehabilitation receiver pursuant to Section 44 hereof.

Notwithstanding the rejection of the Rehabilitation Plan, the court may confirm the Rehabilitation Plan if all of the following circumstances are present:

(a) The Rehabilitation Plan complies with the requirements specified in this Act.

(b) The rehabilitation receiver recommends the confirmation of the Rehabilitation Plan;

(c) The shareholders, owners or partners of the juridical debtor lose at least their controlling interest as a result of the Rehabilitation Plan; and

(d) The Rehabilitation Plan would likely provide the objecting class of creditors with compensation which has a net present value greater than that which they would have received if the debtor were under liquidation.

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