COVID-19 Petition and Response
(Updates as of April 13, 2020)
The Department of Finance (DOF) through the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to allow tax payments after April 15th and waive applicable penalties and interest charges for delayed tax remittances.
Nationwide suspension of the payment of real property taxes (RPT) which fall due during the effectivity of the enhanced community quarantine.
Deferment of the payment of loans and waiver of penalties related to interest charges.
For banks to declare a moratorium on loan amortizations falling due within six (6) months from the occurrence of COVID-19 for business, consumer, home and loans to large enterprises. Affected MSMEs and even corporations have to apply with their respective universal, commercial and savings banks for the moratorium to take effect.
b. Remittances and payments of loans and contributions for the mandatory employee benefits such as Philhealth, Social Security System (SSS), Home Development Mutual Fund (HMDF) be given a 120-day payment extension or until employees and employers both fully recovered from the COVID19 crisis.
Waiver of rentals for MSMEs during the period of the closure order; if not, grant a special arrangement as a support to our MSMEs.
Financing for MSMEs
a. DTI to establish a rehabilitation fund for affected MSMEs in the areas of technical assistance and special financing for working capital and equipment/machinery acquisition.
b. The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), DTI and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) work out a mechanism where the Conditional Cash Transfer/Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program can be used to subsidize Micro and Small Businesses.
Provide subsidy and relief to laid-off workers and/or workers who are in a no work no pay situation a grant cash subsidy with a minimum of P3,000 pesos per month, to help the workers and employees tide over this crisis.
Additional funds for CCT recipients, who are by definition the most financially vulnerable sector and will suffer greatly if/when they lose their livelihood during this time.
Other measures to transfer funds or food to low-income families.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to re-consider the holiday pay for workers for April 9, Holy Thursday, which is also Araw ng Kagitingan. The salary computation for the said date would total 300% if a business is in operation, and 200% if closed. Suggestion: 200% if in operation, and 100% if closed.
DTI to strictly enforce price controls to keep food prices (and inflation) low, protect food supply and other basic and prime commodities, especially for the marginalized sectors, and enable trade to continue.
Vital industries like power, water, transport, telecommunications and others that provide essential services to the public to continue to operate with businesses and workers exercising the recommended protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH) and guidelines issued by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
NEDA, DBM, DTI, Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to consider utilizing the public infrastructure funds to immediately construct Specialized Covid19 Monitoring and Treatment facilities across the country.
Additional funds for temporary hospitals and quarantine areas to ensure health system can cope with surge in patients.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) to declare Mindanao to be a separate food quarantine area to allow the unhampered delivery of food for the entire country. The DA’s declarations on quarantined agricultural products (affected by the foot and mouth diseases, avian flu, etc.) covers the entire country. Location-specific quarantine will help with the continued supply of food in the country.
For the DA to create a food logistics backbone from General Santos to Cebu City and Tagbilaran City via Davao and Bukidnon. Government can put up cold storage in key points.
The LGUs through the provincial, city and municipal health offices to aggressively campaign for the public to immediately adopt positive health habits such as personal hygiene, eat healthy food, particularly locally grown fruits and vegetables, to boost personal immunity and lessen the effects of infection.
National Government to create and fund a Task Force that will be responsible in updating the data and maps needed for an updated and detailed maps of areas adversely affected by COVID-19 and the government resources deployed to curb its spread. Such data will be necessary for a more efficient and accurate modelling studies which will help the private sector direct its resources where it can be of most help in helping curb and eradicate COVID-19 as well as rehabilitate businesses and workers adversely affected by the current government countermeasures vs. COVID-19.
Targeted subsidies to the health, tourism and transport industries as in Malaysia and Italy
Increase public investment spending as in Germany.
That the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) enjoin the Telcos (PLDT and Globe) to remove all Data Capping in mobile Broadband Internet services, as a way to allow their customers a continuous service 24/7 until the crisis is declared over.
RA 11469 or the Act Granting Emergency Presidential Powers to Fight COVID-19 formally directed to move statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing and submission of any document, the payment of taxes, fees, and other charges required by law, and the grant of any benefit, in order to ease the burden on individuals under Community Quarantine under Sec. 4 (z).
a. BIR’s Memo-Circular (MC) 28-2020 extended the filing of the 2019 ITR to May 15, 2020 without the imposition of penalties, and the filing of corresponding taxes to any Authorized Agent Banks nearest the taxpayer’s location. Albeit, the DOF and the BIR appeal to those who are able to file within the deadline to do so through mechanisms that have been made available by the BIR, including online filing and payment platforms. Taxpayers who are enrolled in the Electronic Filing and Payment System (EFPS) may settle their tax liabilities through any of the following electronic/online payment:
· Land Bank of the Philippines’ (LBP) Link.Ziz Portal (for taxpayers who have an ATM account with LBP, holders of Bancnet ATM/Debit/Prepaid Cards or taxpayers utilizing the PesoNet facility, such as depositors of RCBC and Robinsons Bank);
· Development Bank of the Philippines’ (DBP) Pay Tax Online (for holders of Visa/Mastercard Credit Cards and/or Bancnet ATM/Debit Cards);
· Union Bank Online Web and Mobile Phone Payment Facility (for taxpayers who have an account with Union Bank of the Philippines); and
· Mobile Payment (GCash/Paymaya).
b. MC 37-2020, provides that taxpayers who file their tax returns within the original deadline or prior to the extended deadline CAN AMEND their tax returns at any time on or before the extended due date without being subjected to penalties. Provided that filing is done not later than the extended deadline. Likewise, taxpayers, whose amended returns will result to overpayment of taxes paid can opt to carry over the overpaid tax as credit against the tax due for the same tax type in the succeeding periods’ tax returns, aside from filing for claim for refund.
For Individuals (including Mixed Income Earner), Estates and Trusts, the January 2018 version of BIR Form 1701 [Annual Income Tax Return for Individuals (including Mixed Income Earner), Estates and Trusts], is not yet available in the Electronic Filing and Payment 2OOSystem (eFPS). Filing can be done through Offline eBIRForms Package Version 7.6 as circulated in RMC No. 16-2020 while payment for the income tax liability shall be made through manual or online payment.
c. MC 38-2020 extended the deadline for the availment of tax amnesty on delinquencies from May 23, 2020 to June, 8, 2020
d. MC 39-2020 further extended for 15 calendar days the due dates for the submission and/or filing of certain documents and tax returns including payment of taxes except those where the extended due dates granted are reckoned from the lifting of the ECQ and state of emergency.
Filing/submission of BIR Form 2551Q (Quarterly Percentage Tax Return, which was originally due on April 25, 2020 is further extended to May 25, 2020.
e. MC 41-2020 extended the period for application for new authority to print (ATP) receipts/invoices of taxpayers. Filing of application for new ATP for expiring principal and supplementary receipts/invoices where expiration dates fall within ECQ period is extended until May 13, 2020 or thirty (30) calendar days after the lifting of ECQ, without imposition of penalties.
Use of expired principal and supplementary receipts/invoices that fall within ECQ shall also be extended until May 13 or thirty (30) calendar days, provided that a) taxpayer cannot apply for new ATP due to ECQ or application has been filed/received by BIR but accredited printer cannot deliver; b) Invoices/receipts to be issued/used shall be stamped “Emergency Extension for Use until May 13, 2020 (If the ECQ is extended, the date shall be 30 days after the last day of the ECQ).
RA 11469 Sec. 4 (aa) directed all banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies, and other financial institutions, public and private, to implement a minimum of 30-day grace period for the payment of all loans falling due between March 16 to April 15, 2020 without incurring interests, penalties, fees, or other charges.
The DOF has issued the IRR of Section 4 (aa) directing all lenders to grant a 30-day period of extension for the payment of all loans, including credit card payments and pawnshop loans falling due within the ECQ period, without any interest or additional charges and fees on the borrowers.
The initial 30-day grace period shall automatically be extended if the ECQ period is extended by the President of the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to his emergency powers under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
Other credit granting financial institutions under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), whether public or private, including the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS) and Pag-IBIG Fund, are also covered by this provision.
All borrowers of the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.) in good standing have been granted a one-month loan moratorium and the option to limit their payments in the succeeding 6 months to just the interest portion. This has benefited a total of 127,000 Micro Enterprises under the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Program and 15,000 MSMEs under SBC’s corporate-funded loan portfolios.
The Home Development Mutual Fund (HMDF)/Pag-Ibig has extended the payment of loans on housing, multi-purpose, and calamity for due dates within March 16 to June 15.
a. On March 18, 2020, Ayala Group, SM, Megaworld, and Robinsons announced to waive rental fees of their mall tenants during the lockdown.
b. Under DTI’s MC 12-20 on the Guidelines for Residential and Commercial Rents, MSMEs are granted a 30-day grace period (deferment) on the commercial rents falling due during the ECQ, with no interest penalties and fees and other charges. Cumulative amount of rents that need to be paid within the quarantine period will be amortized equally in the 6 months following the end of the period.
On March 16, the government announced the roll out of Php27.1 Billion package of actions to fight the impact of COVID-19.
a. Php14 Billion is allotted for various programs and projects of DOT for tourism industry
b. P2.8 billion for the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Aid Program of the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC), which provides loans of up to P25,000 each at zero interest for smallholder farmers and fisherfolk.
c. P1 billion allotted by DTI for its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso (P3) Microfinancing special loan package of the Small Business Corp. (SBC) for affected micro entrepreneurs/micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The loan shall be used to help the enterprise stabilize or recover from its losses. Specifically, the following purposes are qualified: (i) updating of loan amortizations for vehicle loans or other fixed asset loans of the business; (ii) inventory replacement for perishable stocks damaged; and, (iii) working capital replacement to restart the business. The loan shall be made available to the following:
· Micro and small enterprises with at least one year continuous operation prior to March 2020, and whose businesses suffered drastic reduction in sales during the ensuing epidemic may access the loan fund.
· Micro enterprises with asset size of not more than P3.0 million may borrow P10.0 thousand up to P200.0 thousand.
· Small enterprises with asset size of not more than P10.0 million may borrow a higher loan amount but not to exceed P500.0 thousand.
Interest rate shall be at 0.5% per month (discounted basis). Grace period on payments shall be given until such time that the economic crisis has abated.
The program shall be implemented once the ECQ is lifted by the National Government and/or respective Local Government Units.
d. DTI also launched the Livelihood Seeding Program-Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay Program, expanding the Negosyo Center services to serve barangays, particularly those identified as Local Communist Armed Conflict affected areas, Indigenous People communities, as well as MSMEs affected.
e. The Sustainable Livelihood Program-National Program Management Office is crafting the supplemental guidelines for the release of the Livelihood Assistance Grant (LAG) which may be used by beneficiaries as seed capital to start up new or enhanced existing micro-enterprises, among others. Said guidelines are to be released to the DSWD Field Offices on or before 14 April 2020.
a. Through Labor Advisory No. 12-2020, affected workers due to COVID-19 shall receive a financial aid of Php 5,000 under the Covid Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
As of 03 April 2020, DOLE’s CAMP has provided assistance to 88,000+ workers from 6,900+ establishments nationwide through the beneficiaries’ payroll accounts or via money remittance. The target of CAMP is to extend assistance to 115,800+ workers by the end of the ECQ.
Under Labor Advisory 12-A 2020, for the availment of the financial aid, in case of non-availability of payroll, affected establishments may submit ANY of the following:
2. Logbook or ledger
3. Employment contract
4. Cash voucher or petty cash voucher
5. SSS, PAG-IBIG or PhilHealth Alphalist or list of remittances
6. BIR Form 2316
7. List of employees with 13th month pay
b. DOLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program has utilized P175M with 55,900+ workers/beneficiaries availing of assistance from the TUPAD-Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko Project.
c. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has coordinated with the DSWD, DA, and DILG to ensure that Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) will receive emergency relief packages, including seedlings for their farms and monetary subsidy amounting to P5,000.
d. The DA has also implemented the Expanded Survival and Recovery Aid and Recovery Project, which targets to benefit 40,000 small farmers and fishers and 295 micro and small enterprises by providing them zero interest loans to help them through the crisis and facilitate their recovery. In addition, the DA has implemented a loan payment moratorium to benefit around 200,000+ marginal and small farmers and fisher-borrowers.
e. The DA implemented Financial Subsidy for Rice Farmers Program to provide farmers an unconditional cash transfer in the amount of Php 5,000 distributed as cash grants through the Landbank of the Philippines (LBP) cash cards.
a. RA 11469 Granting Emergency Presidential Powers to Fight COVID-19 Sec. 4 (c) provides emergency subsidy to 18 million low income households in the amount of Php5,000 to Php8,000 a month for 2 months.
b. Sec. 4 (cc) of the law expanded and enhanced the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (P4) program to respond to the needs posed by the crisis. Under the provided commodity assistance program, the Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) may purchase commodities for emergency distribution to the members of the informal and marginalized sector.
a. LGUs’ distribution of relief goods
· RA 11469 Sec. 4 (g) allows LGUs to utilize more than 5% of their calamity fund
· DSWD will provide additional food packs and other non-food aid to LGUs.
b. RA 11469 Sec. 4 (x) Reprogram, reallocate, and realign from savings on other items of appropriations in the FY 2020 GAA in the executive department, as may be necessary and beneficial to fund measures that address and respond to the COVID-19 emergency, including social amelioration for affected communities, and the recovery and of areas, sectors, and industries severely affected.
c. RA 11469 Sec. 4 (dd) lifts the 30% cap on the amount appropriated for the quick respond fund
d. RA 11469 Sec. 4 (v) directed the discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects or activities (P/A/P) of any agency of the Executive Department, including government owned or controlled corporations (GOCC), in the FYs 2019 and 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), whether released or unreleased the allotments for which remain unobligated and utilize the savings generated therefrom to augment the allocation for any item directly related to support operations, response measures, and other such P/A/P in the FY 2020 GAA which are necessary or beneficial in order to address the COVID-19 emergency, consistent with the herein declared national policy.
e. RA 11469 Sec. 4 (w) provided any unutilized or unreleased money or funds sourced from collections or receipts, including future collections and receipts, shall be utilized and are hereby appropriated for such measures to address the COVID-19 situation and accomplish the declared national policy herein.
DOLE’s Labor Advisory 13-2020, Payment of Wages for the Regular Holidays on April 9 and 10, 2020 And Special Day on April 11, 2020 provides the following:
April 9, 2020 – Araw ng Kagitingan and Holy Thursday
· If the employee did not work, 200% of wage per day
· If the employee worked, 300% of wage per day
· If it is the rest day of the employee and rendered work, additional 30% of 300% of wage per day
April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
· 100% of wage per day if the employee did not work
· 200% of wage per day if the employee rendered work
· Additional 30% of 200% of wage per day if it is the employee’s rest day and still rendered work
April 11, 2020
· No work, no pay
· If the employee worked, additional 30% of his/her basic wage
· For work done in excess of 8 hours, additional 30% of the employee’s hourly rate on this day
The Advisory further provides that establishments that have totally closed or ceased operations during the ECQ period are exempted from the payment of the holiday pay.
Labor Advisory 13-A 2020 gives employers the option to defer giving holiday pays to their employees for the April 2020 holidays. The Advisory reads: “On account of the existence of a national emergency as aforementioned, employers are allowed to defer payment of holiday pay on April 9, 10, and 11, 2020, as may be applicable, pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 13, Series of 2020 until such time that the present emergency situation has been abated and the normal operations of the establishment is in place.
a. RA 11469 Sec 4 (i) directed the continuity of enforcing measures to protect the people from hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations, manipulation of prices, product deceptions, and cartels, monopolies or other combinations in restraint of trade, or other pernicious practices affecting the supply, distribution and movement of goods.
b. The declaration of State of Public Health Emergency on March 8 and State of Calamity on March 16 automatically froze prices of basic necessities until May 15. DTI, DA, and DOH released Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 2020-01 reiterating the said nationwide price freeze.
c. DTI’s MC 20-27, as supplemented by MC 20-10 prescribes anti-hoarding and anti-panic buying guidelines to ensure the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices.
To ensure compliance with the automatic price freeze levels of basic commodities, DTI conducted 1,200+ Monitoring Activities from 28 March to 01 April 2020, where 5,100+ firms were monitored with 97% compliance.
DTI conducted 110 Joint Operations with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) resulting in the arrest of 96 persons for violations of various consumer, food, drug, price, and cybercrime laws.
d. DA monitored and enforced the suggested retail prices for basic agricultural and fishery commodities in Metro Manila, which helped regulate the prices of pork, chicken, sugar, milkfish, tilapia, garlic, and onion.
e. The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is likewise closely monitoring the prices and supply of sugar in most areas in Metro Manila.
Public utilities (power, water, and telecoms) are considered essential sectors and among the economic activities allowed to operate unimpeded.
RA 11469 Sec. 4 (r) limited the operation of land, sea and air transport to cover essential cargoes.
RA 11469 Sec. 4 (t) authorized to continue the implementation of alternative working arrangement for government agencies and businesses that may apply for such arrangement.
For enterprises in operation, DOLE’s Labor Advisory 04-2020 provides Guidelines on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Prevention and Control at the Workplace
Likewise, DTI facilitated the Issuance of IATF-approved ID Cards for Skeletal Workforce through MC 20-06 which will let workers go through checkpoints. Application form can be accessed through the following link: bit.ly/IATF_ID
a. Under RA 11469
Sec 4 (h) temporarily allows the government to take over or direct th operation of any privately-owned hospitals and medical and health facilities including passenger vessels and other establishments, to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, quarantine centers, medical relief and aid distribution locations, or other temporary medical facilities; and public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel and other persons
· Sec. 4 (j) ensures that there will be no delay in the donation, acceptance and distribution of health products intended to address the COVID-19
· Sec. 4 (k) allows the most expeditious manner of procurement of the following:
- Goods and equipment used in the fight against COVID-19
- Goods and services for social amelioration measures in favour of affected communities
- Lease of real property or venue for use to house health workers or serve as quarantine centers, medical relief and aid distribution locations, or temporary medical facilities
- Establishment, construction, and operation of temporary medical facilities
- Utilities, telecommunications, and other critical services in relation to operation of COVID-19 related response facilities
- Related ancillary services
· Sec. 4 (l) stated to partner with the Philippine Red Cross in the distribution of goods and services.
b. DPWH is facilitating the conversion of evacuation centers and selected sites as health/quarantine facilities, emergency operation centers, food hubs, and quarters for health workers. The converted quarters provide lodging for approximately 100 persons at any given time, while the health/quarantine facilities have served 341 PUIs and PUMs so far.
DPWH has also started construction works necessary to convert of the PICC-Forum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium, and the World Trade Center into health/quarantine facilities to accommodate a minimum estimate of 912 PUIs and PUMs. These facilities are expected to be completed before 14 April 2020 with a total estimated budget of almost P30M.
c. The IATF has likewise directed DOTR to lead in identifying of maritime vessels that can serve as “floating quarantine hospitals” to be deployed in different parts of the country to accommodate PUMs. The 2GO Group agreed to convert 2 of its ships into “quarantine ships” that can serve around 1,500 patients.
d. The TransCo entered into an agreement with the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP) for the use of TransCo dormitory facilities located at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani grounds to house LCP health workers, or serve as a quarantine area.
No updates yet.
No updates yet.
a. On a related matter, DA has implemented special lanes for food, agricultural and agri-fishery products to ensure unhampered delivery. A “food lane conduct pass” is being issued to truckers, logistics service providers, cargo operators, and suppliers.
As of 28 March 2020, the DA has issued a total of 41,600+ Food Passes to delivery trucks and other vehicles transporting agri-fishery products and inputs. The 1381 (AGRI) Hotline was also activated to address problems on movement of food and agri-fishery products.
b. The DA also deployed trucks to move vegetables, rice, fruits, and fish from trading posts or “bagsakan centers” to wholesale, storage, and retailing areas. In addition, the DA has set-up KADIWA ni Ani at Kita on Wheels in strategic areas to provide communities access to rice, fish, vegetables, and fruits.
The DA has linked ARBs with buyers to provide them with an established market for their farm products in addition to the 66 KADIWA stores that will be rolled-out in the coming weeks nationwide.
c. NEDA and the UP Public Administration Foundation are creating a national supply chain for essential medical supplies, food commodities, and other critical materials. This plan will provide an end-to-end supply chain, from procurement, sourcing, manufacturing, quality and food safety, to logistics and distribution to consumers. The NEDA’s Networks’ Hub is setting up a transport analytics tool to address supply chain concerns and bottlenecks to the supply, distribution, and movement of essential goods and services.
Ongoing efforts by the National and Local Government
RA 11469 Sec. 4 (g) authorized the LGUs to utilize more than 5% of the amount allocated for their calamity fund subject to additional funding and support from the National Government in implementing the Community Quarantine and national policy to address COVID-19.
a. On Mach 23, 2020, PCOO launched a dedicated website for COVID-19:
b. To aid the IATF in determining whether to lift/extend or limit/expand the scope of the ECQ, the NEDA and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) are currently working on a study to model the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines under varying scenarios. Said study will provide the IATF an accurate calculation of the health resources required to promptly and effectively address any expected rise or outbreak of COVID-19 cases.
NEDA and PIDS have also begun crafting the parameters for the partial/total lift or extension/expansion of the ECQ.
From the Php27.1 billion package as announced by DOF, Php14 Billion is allotted for various programs and projects of DOT for tourism industry.
The DOF has announced that the country’s robust fiscal position will be used to boost infrastructure spending. While the President is empowered to reallocate funds to augment the current Php 275 billion budget for COVID 19 response, including those that have been appropriated to the Build. Build. Build. projects, the DOF and the DBM are looking for ways to find other sources of funds.
· Internet providers did not remove all Data Capping
· PLDT only offered a free “speed boost” for its fiber subscribers, bringing the minimum internet connection to 25 Mbps until April 30.
· PLDT's Smart Communications also offered free access to official websites starting March 11 which includes DOH’s NCov Tracker, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and the Philippine Information Agency
· Globe also gave free access to official sites of DOH and NDRRMC
· Globe offered subscription to KonsultaMD can get in touch with doctors via the 79880 telehealth hotline without any mobile call charges
· PLDT and Globe gave a 30-day payment extensions in settling monthly bills.
The DICT, DOST, and Developers Connect, a non-profit local software developer organization, is set to fully roll out the RapidPass.Ph which will enable frontliners and those working to provide essential goods and services to pass through checkpoints quicker through the use of a QR code or an alphanumeric code for verification, minimizing contact with checkpoint personnel.
DICT also allowed establishments from the Private Express and/or Messengerial Delivery Services sector to continue their operations to ensure the delivery of food, water, medicine, and other basic goods and necessities during the ECQ period.