MANILA, Philippines – Tenants struggling to pay their residential rent during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon will be given a one-month extension to settle their dues under the newly-signed ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One’ Law.
Under the Republic Act No. 11469 recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, a minimum of 30-day grace period is provided on residential rents falling due within the quarantine period “without incurring interests, penalties, fees, and other charges” to ease the burden of individuals affected by the Luzon-wide community quarantine.
The provision, which was recommended by Senator Grace Poe during Monday’s special session, is seen as a move to help especially low-wage earners who are struggling to pay their rental payments during this public health crisis.
“Many renters live paycheck to paycheck but during these extraordinary times when they suddenly need to work or not at all, they might not have enough to pay for their rent and may even face the possibility of eviction,” Poe said.
“In pushing for this provision in the bill, we hope to ease the growing financial burden of the pandemic particularly on millions of poor Filipino households,” she added.
The Duterte administration also moved the statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing of any document, the payment of taxes, fees and other charges required by law in view of the continuing rise of confirmed novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
The law also grants Duterte additional powers to deal with the current crisis, including realigning any appropriation in the national budget to fast-track government response against COVID-19, provide poor Filipino families with P5,000 to P8,000 financial aid for two months under an expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
The measure also provides the payment of a special risk allowance for all public health frontliners, and the anti-hoarding and profiteering of hygiene and sanitation products. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
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