Due to the enhanced community quarantine, rental fees and charges on tenants for both residential and commercial spaces are deferred but not waived—a policy recently clarified by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Last Wednesday on April 15, during the the Laging Handa public briefing, Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry, Ramon Lopez said residential and commercial rents falling due within the quarantine period shall be deferred for at minimum 30 days without incurring interests, penalties, fees, and other charges.
For example, if the due date for your rent is on April 25, payment shall be deferred for the next 30 days.
“We realized that not all landlords are big property owners. Some of them, renting out their property is their only means of living,” said Secretary Lopez.
Further adding that the cumulative amount of rents due within the quarantine period shall be equally amortized in the next six months.
In the week prior, President Duterte advised landlords to not pressure their tenants in paying their rents in light of the country battling the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“We all lose our income. I’d like to ask the owners to suspend payment for residential rents. Do not ask for payment because tenants do not really have the money and are struggling now,” he said.
For mall operators however, the DTI’s Memorandum Circular No. 20-04 has ordered mall owners to waive rental fees and other charges for stores that have been closed during the community quarantine.
The national government placed Metro Manila on community quarantine on March 15. A few days later, on March 17, the entire island of Luzon was soon thereafter placed under enhanced community quarantine. Nearly a month later, President Duterte extended the enhanced community quarantine from the original April 12 to April 30 to further contain the spread of the virus.
On Tuesday, April 14, the Philippine government began the mass testing for COVID-19.