Duterte warns landlords: Don’t pressure tenants, defer collection of rent
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte warns lessors against pressuring tenants into paying their rent during the extended Luzon lockdown, saying that he will even “go against the law” to protect these tenants.
“Huwag mo muna hingiin kasi wala talaga. And whatever na ang nasa kamay ng mga tao ngayon, they are saving it for the last day, for the rainy days to come,” Duterte said in a public address aired early Thursday.
[Don’t ask for it for the time being, because they really don’t have it. And whatever they have at hand now, they are saving it for the last day, for the rainy days to come.]
“Nagmamakaawa ako sa inyo: Huwag ninyong pilitin ang tao. Walang pilitan kasi talagang mageengkwentro tayo. Hindi talaga ako papayag. Huwag ninyo akong pilitin to go against the law,’ he added.
[I’m begging you: Don’t force the people. Don’t force them because we will really clash. I really won’t allow it. Don’t force me to go against the law.]
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has imposed a 30-day grace period for the collection of rent — from residential and commercial tenants, particularly in those in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) — to help them cope with the effects of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
Duterte has placed the entire Luzon, the country’s economic and political center, under in a month-long enhanced community quarantine to check the spread of COVID-19.
The quarantine has been extended until April 30.
The strict measure effectively suspended work for the majority of the region’s people and halted the operations of public transport. Luzon is home to about half of the country’s population.
Currently, 3,870 individuals nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19, of whom 182 have died and 96 have recovered. A vast majority of the total infection in the country were recorded in Luzon.
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