By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla is urging the government to consider suspending the payment of mortgage fees and other expenses during the quarantine that will be imposed in Metro Manila to avert the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Revilla said Friday that President Duterte’s order to place the National Capital Region under community quarantine for one month “brought serious concern to a vast number of our kababayans (countrymen) who work hard day-in and day-out to make payments that fall due.”
He noted that while officials assured that employment and livelihood will not be lost, “many” have raised that the Philippines should follow Italy’s example and suspend the payments of mortgage and other expenses.
“For this reason, I ask our financial managers to study and look into this course of action so that if conditions worsen and the need arises, we could implement an emergency mechanism that would ease the burden of our kababayans with the least adverse impact on our finances, economy, and institutions,” Revilla appealed.
“Mabuti nang maging handa at may malinaw at pinag-isipang plano kung sakaling dumating ang pangangailangan (It is better to be prepared and to have clear, well-thought-of plans in case the need comes),” he added.
Italy recently suspended mortgage payments for individuals and households to cushion the economic impact of the government’s lockdown of the entire country.
The COVID-19 has already killed over 1,000 of its citizens.
Aside from mortgage, banks and lenders have also offered debt holidays for those affected by the disease.
In the Philippines, President Duterte approved of the recommendation to put Metro Manila under “community quarantine” by prohibiting local land, sea, and air travel to and from the region.
This starts on Sunday, March 15, until April 14, and will be reviewed daily by concerned government agencies.
Agencies, however, are still crafting the guidelines on how these will be specifically implemented, including rules for workers who reside outside Metro Manila.