Rent holiday in effect

A RENTAL holiday is now in effect in Baguio City.

The law signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong on May 22, frees tenants of rental costs during the duration of both the enhanced community and the general community quarantine periods.

Councilor Benny Bomogao, author of the law, now urges building owners to comply and adhere to the ordinance.

Bomogao said, “It is now a time that we should help one another, this is the spirit of the rental holiday.”

The rental holiday applies to all public and private properties within the city.

The lawmaker added losses for both private and government properties is expected and asked for understanding from building owners.

“This is the process of healing and helping each other, hopefully in the future, whatever losses that we have will be rewarded,” Bomogao said.

The new law includes malls and other private establishments aside from government owned properties.

The rental holiday covers real properties, buildings, stalls, units or spaces used for commercial business and industrial purposes and were prevented from operating during EC and GCQ.

Now known as the “Rental Holiday Ordinance, To Heal as One,” mandates lease rentals of real properties, buildings, stalls, units , spaces used for commercial business or industrial purposes shall not be collected by owners, lessors, sub-lessors, operators, administrators or managers while the establishments are still prevented by legal orders from business operations.

There are 22,710 business establishments and activities operating in the city with 51.4 percent into wholesale and retail enterprises followed by accommodations pegged at 21.6%, contractors which comprise 16.2%, food with 4.9% amusement at 3.2%, financial businesses at 2% and manufacturing with a 0.8% share.

For other businesses which were allowed to operate fully or partially under the ECQ, GCQ or other similar situations, parties are enjoined to renegotiate terms of rental payments either by providing waiver or reasonable reduction on the lease rental, discounts, reprieve and other beneficial terms taking into consideration the socio-economic impact, duration of recovery period, new normal and projected full economic recovery, to attain government’s objective with its citizens “to heal as one”.

Stalls in the Public City Market are included in the rental holiday while the stalls which continued to operate during the ECQ and GCQ is allowed to settle their unpaid rentals for the months of March, April and May by the end of June 30.

Market stalls which did not operate during the ECQ shall not pay rentals.

Building owners with lease contracts with the city which are not covered by list of rent-free spaces are allowed to pay accumulated rentals for the months of March, April and May in 3 equal installments starting June 30, 2020 to be added to the rental due for the month.

For city owned parks, all concessionaires at Burnham Park and Botanical Garden are exempt from payment of rent during the ECQ or while said establishments are prevented by legal orders from business operation with pay toilet concessionaire also included.

Penalties for violators of the ordinance shall face closure and revocation of their business permit with any business permit applications to be denied until full compliance, persons responsible shall be penalized with a fine of P5,000 and a one-year imprisonment upon conviction.

To ensure compliance, a complaint section for violations of the law is to be set up by the City Mayor which shall validate complaints within 24 hours and immediately impose the administrative sanction of closure and revocation of business permit.


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