No rent freeze under Bayanihan law, says Roque

Published February 11, 2021, 4:08 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The government is not inclined to impose a rent freeze in apartments and condominiums even as the people continued to struggle with the impact of the pandemic.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the government has instead allowed a “reprieve” in the payment of home rental fees to ease the burden of the people especially those severely affected by the pandemic.

“Wala pong freeze in rental ang napaloob sa Bayanihan 1 or 2. Ang mayroon lang po iyong reprieve sa pagbabayad ng upa (There is no freeze in rental fees under Bayanihan 1 or 2 law. What we have is a reprieve in the payment of rent),” he said when asked about the government’s position on freezing rents in apartments and condominiums.

He noted that low-income tenants could take refuge in the county’s law that restricts excessive increase in rental fees. “Mayroon naman po tayong ongoing na rental law ‘no, na iyong mga maliliit na renta eh talagang hindi po pupuwedeng gaanong magtaas ng singil (We have an ongoing rental law that prohibits charging exorbitant fees to small renters),” he said.

Roque said President Duterte has also previously appealed to landlords not to evict tenants if they could not immediately pay rent during the community quarantine. He said the President has appealed to people to show bayanihan spirit or help each other during the pandemic.

The government had implemented a 30-day grace period for residential rent as commercial rent especially for small businesses during the enhanced community quarantine period in Luzon last year.  The rent deferral was later applied to areas under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and general community quarantine (GCQ).

The Bayanihan 2 law, signed by the President last September, provided a minimum 30-day grace period on residential rents and commercial rents of lessees not permitted to work and businesses ordered to cease operations during the community quarantine. The amount was supposed to amortized in equal monthly installments until December 31, 2020 without incurring interests and penalties.  The grace period was covered by the rules and regulations of the Department of Trade and Industry.

 
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