Everyone should heed payment moratorium

" How can you evict someone at a time when the home is the safest place to be?"


Yesterday, I received a statement from the Office of Deputy Majority Leader, Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo calling on banks and other lending institutions not to wait for a directive coming from President Rodrigo Duterte and just voluntarily extend moratorium for loan payments for their clients.

Arroyo made the appeal amid the rising concerns of borrowers of being penalized for failing to meet their due dates for the monthly amortizations for their loans.

“Even as the Bayanihan Act gives authority to the President to give directives to banks and other lending and financial institution to extend a temporary relief for their borrowers, these banks, out of compassion, can voluntarily do such on their own,” Arroyo said, citing Arroyo cited provisions in Republic Act No. 11469 which gives the President such powers.

While a number of these institutions have already extended moratorium for loan payments, some have yet to advise their clients regarding a temporary freeze on loan payments.

Arroyo further appealed to the banks and lending institutions for leniency on the payment of the amortization by extending the loan maturity.

“People are apprehensive that after the moratorium is lifted, they will have to pay double their monthly amortization on top of the other bills which would have filed up during the quarantine period,” Arroyo noted.

“In view thereof, we appeal to the banks to extend the loan maturity so as not to double the monthly amortization when the moratorium is lifted,” the solon said.

“We are under a global crisis, the worst the world has ever encountered. We appeal to the banks and other lending institutions to please set aside for this moment their target profit in the name of compassion,” Arroyo added.

Well said. Unfortunately, not everyone shares his views. For after reading his statement, I also came across a post in the social media about a family who was evicted from their rented abode in Montalban in Rizal, for having failed to pay their monthly rental.

Such cruelty. How can you evict someone at a time when the home is the safest place to be? Sending your tenants to the streets at this time is tantamount to handing them their death sentence.

As I shared their plight in my social media account, a friend sent me a private message telling she also suffered the same fate as that of the evicted family.

But while she was not evicted, her landlord increased her monthly rental. So insensitive.

These acts clearly defy the Bayanihan Act on extending tenants of grace periods on their residential rent.

While we do not expect everyone to follow the acts done by some good souls who waived a one-month rental for their tenants, they should have at least heeded the grace period as provided for in the law. 

As Congressman Mikey puts it, as we are in the midst of the worst global crisis we have known, they should have at least set aside one month of their income for compassion.

* * *

When my column which dealt on the Department of Health retracting and correcting itself on the issue of the accuracy of the test kits donated by China last Monday came out, an old friend asked me to discuss for my next article how China helped spread the coronavirus worldwide, that they should be blamed and whatever help they would extend us are actually obligatory on their part.

I’m sorry to disappoint you my friend, but I just cannot do that. I don’t subscribe to that conspiracy theory. That the virus was created in a laboratory in Wuhan and was intended to be used as a biological weapon. Hell, I didn’t even believe the first version that the virus originated a Wuhan Market serving bats for soup. It’s a good thing a Filipina came out clarifying no bat soups are ever served in that part of the world.

To be fair to this old friend, I also do not adhered to the claim of another columnist friend who says he has circumstantial evidences to prove the United States was behind coronavirus and that it brought the virus to china during a war exercise.

But as long as there is no concrete proof to substantiate these conspiracy theories, I won’t budge even an inch. I will continue to praise whoever extends help to us during these trying times. Be it China, the US, Cuba, Russia, or whoever they may be.

And right now, I would like to again extend my gratitude to China for agreeing to send a team of medical expert to our country as requested by our government.

According to Ambassador Huang Xilian, the team’s main task is to help the Philippines fight against COVID-19 by providing technical advice on epidemic prevention and control as well as sharing medical treatment experience. 

Ambassador Huang has also assured our government that the Embassy will continue to work closely with DOH to facilitate relevant arrangements of the medical expert team. 

Thank you so much, Mr. Ambassador.

Topics: Charlie Manalo , Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo , payment moratorium , Department of Health , China , test kits , Ambassador Huang Xilian
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