Grace period for rental fees, loans during ECQ approved

THE proposed 30-day grace period on commercial rental payments falling due to micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period in the country has been approved by the Inter-agency Task Force on Covid-19 recently.

Under the approved proposal, no interest, penalties and other charges shall be imposed on the deferred payment due.

The said proposal by DTI was made in order to help MSMEs cope up with the slowdown in economic activities because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department of Finance has also issued a policy instituting a 30-day mandatory grace period for all loans of borrowers including corporate borrowers, individuals, households and other counterparties with principal and/or interest falling within the ECQ period.

Under the said guidelines, said loans shall not incur interest, penalties, fees and other charges for the 30-day grace period.

Covered institutions required to implement the policy include banks, quasi-banks, non-stock savings and loans associations, credit card issuers, pawnshops and other credit granting financial institutions under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), as well as the Government Services Insurance System and the Pag-ibig Fund.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations was issued by the DOF as part of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act or RA 11469.

Likewise, SB Corporation, one of the largest providers of MSME financing of the national government, has announced to its partner financial institutions and MSME borrowers of its 30-day moratorium on payment for the period March 16 to April 14, 2020.

In the statement by SB Corporation, the borrowers have an option to pay only the interest portion of their monthly payments for up to 6 months or until October 2020.

This will give the MSMEs affected by the ECQ to channel their finances in their efforts to rise above the challenges caused by the pandemic and help them recover from possible losses.


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