Staggered payment for accumulated debts pushed
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - April 6, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A House leader has proposed measures to ease the burden of Filipinos and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) after the enhanced community quarantine.

Deputy Speaker and 1 Pacman party-list Rep. Mikee Romero asked the Inter-Agency Task Force on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to require banks, utilities and other financial institutions to offer a staggered payment scheme on accumulated debts resulting from the extension of deadlines during the quarantine period.

Romero lamented that the extension of payment of utility and credit card bills as well as loans might only aggravate the suffering of ordinary Filipinos and MSMEs if they would be required to settle debts in just one payment.

“It is not the time to cripple or further disable our MSMEs. Staggered payments will give small businesses time to get their financial house in order, help them recover and keep their employees, thereby reducing unemployment,” he said.

Most banks and utility firms have earlier decided to extend the due dates for payments or bills falling within the 30-day community quarantine period. 

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