Go backs support for middle class
(The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 11:59pm

MANILA, Philippines — In light of the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, Sen. Bong Go echoed the appeal of local officials, civic organizations and entrepreneurs to the government to also provide aid to middle class Filipino families amid the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency. 

In line with this, Go reiterated his appeal to banks, quasi-banks and other financial institutions, both public and private, to provide a grace period and impose no increase in interest rates on consumer and corporate loans to assist the Filipino middle class in recovering from the unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19 crisis. 

Go said Filipinos, especially the middle class,need a grace period because they cannot pay since they have no means to earn a living at this time.

In a message released last March 29, the Bankers Association of the Philippines urged its members to continue providing necessary services to the public and maintain reasonable lending rates as Luzon and other areas are under enhanced community quarantine. 

Go added that Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act gives the President the necessary authority to implement the provision on payment of loans. 

Under RA 11469, President Duterte is authorized to direct all public and private banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies and other financial institutions, including the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System and Pag-IBIG Fund, to implement a minimum of a 30-day grace period for the payment of all loans without incurring interests, penalties, fees and other charges.

The covered loans include salary, personal, housing and motor vehicle loans, as well as credit card payments, falling due within the period of the enhanced community quarantine, now extended until April 30. Interests, penalties, fees or other charges can be waived, and persons with multiple loans may also be given the minimum 30-day grace period for every loan.

According to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, a budget of P205 billion is at the government’s disposal to provide support for those in the informal sector, in addition to fully funding the needs of the healthcare sector.

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