Tenants to get 30-day extension in paying residential rent under ‘Bayanihan Law’
Robie de Guzman • March 26, 2020 • 1181
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)
MANILA, Philippines – Economic managers are looking for potential sources of funds to help the middle-class families amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the national government may extend support to the middle-class sector but not under the Social Amelioration Program or the cash aid intended for low-income families or the informal sector.
Nograles explained that the list of beneficiaries of the emergency subsidy program was derived from the 15 million poor families identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
The government added three million families from the informal sector to complete the 18 million target beneficiaries of SAP under the newly signed Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Naglagay po tayo ng contingency dahil hindi naman malilimitahan sa 15 million (families) iyan (na base sa) 2015 census. Ang ginawa, nagdagdag pa sila ng three million, [We applied a contingency because we couldn’t limit it to 15 million families that was based on the 2015 census. What they did was they added 3-M,]” the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Spokesperson explained.
Based on the current statistics, the Philippines has about 24 million families.
Minus 18 million families, Nograles said, there will be about 6 million middle class families that will be provided with additional cash subsidy.
“We have to define who the middle class is [and up to what extent is being a] middle class,” the official added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III suggests a collaboration of records from the DSWD, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); and the local government units.
“Government assistance should cover ALL those who are affected by the lockdown,” Sotto said in a statement.
“Even the middle-income needs help. Nawalan din naman sila ng pagkakitaan, nabawasan din ang kanilang source of income, [They, too, lost their source of livelihood. Their source of income has also been affected],” he added.
Sotto pushed anew for the national ID system which would provide a database that is seen to solve the government’s problem with accounting the exact number of Filipino families.
Though the IATF-EID agrees with Sotto on the matter, the agency said it would be difficult to process a national ID given the current national crisis. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Experts estimate that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak would reach its peak between the months of April and June this year.
Based on the current statistics, they believe that COVID-19 might infect about 600,000 to 1 million Filipinos if the public will not heed the enhanced community quarantine protocols.
But there are ways to curb the contagion, according to Chief Special Adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa of the Task Force on COVID-19 Crisis.
One of which is the proper execution of the national government’s health interventions.
Herbosa said the Task Force is recommending a ‘gradual lifting of liberties of societies.’
This public measure would help communities recover from the crisis while protecting the public from further infection.
“Siguro wala pa ring pasok para hindi magkahawaan ang mga bata. Siguro ang magkaka- trabaho lang iyong essential industries – pagkain, tubig – iyong mga importanteng industry,” Herbosa explained.
[Perhaps schools should remain suspended to protect students from infection. Only workers of essential industries – food, water or other important industries – would be allowed.]
“Unti-unti nilang ire-release para hindi sisipa ang pagkalat kapag ibinalik mo agad mass transport ng walang adjustment. Siguro ang mangyayari diyan let’s say sa MRT, LRT limitado ang sasakay,” he added.
[Mass transport may be released gradually or on certain adjustments to prevent a sudden spike in infection. It could be, let’s say, limited number of MRT and LRT passengers.]
The official recognized the positive contribution of the enhanced community quarantine in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
But the success of the national government’s action against the deadly disease will only be possible if each member of the community will understand the measures and cooperate with authorities. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday (April 7) he was confident that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in intensive care with a coronavirus infection, would pull through because “he’s a fighter”.
“He remained stable overnight. He’s receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any assistance. He has not required any mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support,” Raab told a daily news conference.
Johnson’s personal battle with the virus has shaken the government just as the United Kingdom, now in its third week of virtual lockdown, enters what scientists say will be the deadliest phase of its coronavirus epidemic, which has already killed at least 6,159 people.
Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, across the River Thames from parliament, late on Sunday after suffering symptoms, including a fever and a cough, for more than 10 days.
But his condition rapidly deteriorated, and he was moved on Monday to an intensive care unit, where the most serious cases are treated, in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
“He remains in good spirits and … his progress continues to be monitored in critical care,” Raab said. (Reuters)
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