Issue of May 17, 2020
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Real estate lease in city to be waived
by Rimaliza A. Opiña

Lessees in government-owned and controlled corporations, government-owned, and private commercial buildings or properties whose operations were forced to stop due to the Luzon-wide lockdown will get a reprieve in the payment of rent.

On May 18, the city council is set to approve on third reading the ordinance making it mandatory for owners, lessors, sub-lessors, operators, administrators or managers of real properties, buildings, stalls, units or spaces used for commercial business or industrial purposes not to collect rent from lessees that did not operate during the enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine.

Establishments that were not ordered to close but chose not to operate during the period will benefit from the tax holiday.

For establishments with limited operation during the ECQ or GCQ, the lessor and lessee are enjoined to renegotiate terms of rental payments either by providing waiver, discounts, or other beneficial terms taking into consideration the socio-economic impact and duration of recovery period.

Lessors that violate the ordinance shall be closed and their business permit will be revoked. Their business permit application shall be denied until full compliance.

Persons responsible in case of a corporation, shall be fined P5,000 and imprisonment of one year upon conviction.

Stalls within the market that continued to operate during the ECQ and GCQ shall settle their rentals for March, April, and May on June 30.

Stalls that did not operate during the ECQ, concessionaires at Burnham Park and Botanical-Centennial Park, and pay toilet concessionaires are exempt from the payment of rentals for the duration of their non-operation.

Owners, lessors, operators, administrators, or managers are required to submit a compliance report to the Permits and Licensing Division within 30 days after the lifting of the ECQ.
The city council has also approved a tax holiday for all business establishments affected by the quarantine.

The tax holiday grants business establishments, regardless whether or not they were closed during the quarantine period, grace period to pay their business and real property taxes. 

Taxes falling due within the ECQ shall be paid on or before June 30, without penalty and taxes due for the 3rd and 4th quarters shall be paid on or before the last working day of December without any extension.

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