Solon appeals to property owners for moratorium on rent

HOUSE Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate on Thursday called on lessors or proprietors of leased houses or rooms to be considerate to their renters whose livelihood is affected by the lockdown and suspend the rental collection for at least two months.

"We know that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has said that there is a 30-day rent freeze, but, we are receiving reports that some property owners are still insisting on monthly rental collection even if their renters have no work for the meantime due to the lockdown.

Please, heed your renters humanitarian pleas and give them moratorium in rental payments while the lockdown is still in effect and they are yet to recover from this crisis," said Zarate.

"Last March, President Duterte claimed that the government would be the one to pay the rent of citizens that cannot work because of the lockdown. We strongly urge the administration to consider this rental burden as factor too, in the grant of amelioration or subsidy to our gravely affected people.

These rental payments, if need be, should be subsidized by government," Zarate, a Davao-based lawmaker, pointed out.

Meanwhile, Zarate also called on big rental property owners and developers to also waive collection of rentals for at least a month.

"We are also calling on big rental companies, condominiums and townhouses to waive their rents for at least a month so as to lessen the burden of their renters," Zarate appealed.

In a related development, House Assistant Majority Leader and ACT-CIS party-list Rep. Niña Taduran appealed to the government and private companies to assist all affected workers and small businessmen in adjusting to the “new normal” work life after the enhanced community quarantine due to coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).

Taduran suggested developing a comprehensive plan to align displaced workers with jobs nearer to their residence, and to teach them new skills as well as provide them fresh capital for putting up their own businesses.

“The government and private companies should also do job and place matching. Kung ang manggagawa ay nakatira sa Manila at nagtatrabaho siya sa Pasig, at kung may branch naman ang kanyang ahensya o kumpanya sa Manila, doon na lang siya ilipat, para mas malapit siya sa kanyang pagta-trabahuhan,” said Taduran.

Taduran underscored the importance for the government agencies and companies to support work from home by providing their employees with equipment necessary to accomplish their tasks.

She proposed that community markets or rolling stores should be set up in every cluster of the barangays to avoid crowding in market places.

“We should accept the fact that we can not entirely go back to what we used to do especially with the social distancing and the reduced capacity in public transportation. Unemployment is predicted to be at 8% this second quarter. We should do something so the people can get back on their feet as they adjust to this situation brought by COVID-19,” said Taduran.