(Eagle News) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a memorandum circular granting a 30-day grace period for residential and commercial rent during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Under Memorandum Circular 20-12, the 30-day grace period is determined to be “the 30 calendar days following the last due date of the rent which fell due within the ECQ.”
The rents covered by the grace period will be amortized in equal amounts and added to the rents due for the next six months following the end of the quarantine period.
In case rent has already been paid, lessors are not obliged to make a refund, but they should grant a 30-day grace period as well for the next due date.
No interests, penalties, fees, and other charges will be imposed upon the lessee in any case.
In addition, the circular stated that “[n]o eviction for failure to pay the residential or commercial rent due may be enforced within the thirty (30)-day period after the lifting of the Enhanced Community Quarantine”.
The circular covers residential units, including bedspaces and dormitories, as well as commercial rents of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have temporarily ceased operations during the ECQ.
Lessors of MSMEs may also opt to grant other concessions to their lessors, such as total or partial waiver of rents due during the ECQ, discounts on rent due after the quarantine, renegotiation of lease terms, and other mitigating measures.
To avail, the MSMEs must provide their lessors with supporting documents, such as financial statements.
Lessors who refuse to provide 30-day grace period to their lessees shall be penalized with imprisonment of not less than two (2) months or a fine of not less than ten thousand pesos (Php 10,000.00) or both.
“No Filipinos should lose their residence during the ECQ period. Moreover, the importance of MSMEs in jumpstarting our economy once the ECQ has been lifted cannot be understated”, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement posted at the department’s official website.”
Any violation of the circular may be brought personally to the DTI, or filed electronically by sending an email to the department’s Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau.
(Eagle News Service)