COVID-19

BSP clarifies no grace period for loans, rent in quarantine areas

Rambo Talabong
(UPDATED) But the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas says it 'strongly encourages' financial institutions to provide further relief to clients

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) clarified on Monday, March 29, that the Duterte administration did not set a new grace period for loans and rent due in areas under quarantine.

Confusion stemmed from the grace period indicated in the amended Omnibus Guidelines on Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines released by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Sunday, March 28.

The BSP said the 30-day grace period being referred to in the document was the one mandated under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. It was already implemented in mid-2020.

The amended document released on Sunday “does not operate to extend the 30-day grace period,” clarified the central bank.

But the BSP said it “strongly encourages” financial institutions to provide further relief to clients “by renewing, restructuring, or extending” loan terms.

“The BSP will continue to closely monitor the impact of the pandemic on the financial industry to promptly address any emerging risk and to support a sustainable economic recovery,” added the central bank.

The BSP’s statement came as enhanced community quarantine took effect in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite on Monday. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.