Duterte tells lessors to ease rental payments
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged lessors of malls and buildings not to force tenants to pay rent even as he reminded them that the country was still emerging from a two-month lockdown due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
“When you collect from somebody who is not earning at all, it’s practically flogging a dead horse … If they are not earning, where will they get the 50 percent to pay, if not the 100 percent that you’d want to collect?” Mr. Duterte said in a televised address on Thursday night.
“Let us have pity on our countrymen. Let us help one another. If it does not really spell bankruptcy, then bear with it with nothing except your savings to tide you over,” he said.
The President made the call as he claimed that some mall and building owners were still charging their tenants 50 percent of the rent even if they ceased operations during the lockdown.
He said the issue should be addressed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), suggesting the implementation of an adjudication process involving the property owner and the tenant.
In April, the DTI granted a grace period for residential rent, as well as commercial rent paid by micro, small and medium enterprises.
The grace period will be 30 days after the last due date of the rent during the lockdown, while cumulative amounts of rent must be amortized equally for the next six months.
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