Freeze on rent, fare and service charges pushed amid COVID-19 | Inquirer News

Freeze on rent, fare and service charges pushed amid COVID-19

/ 05:14 PM April 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy is calling for the freeze on all rate hikes, service charges, transport fare, and residential and commercial rent to curb the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As one of the principal authors of the bill amending the Public Service Act, I appeal to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) to recommend to President (Rodrigo) Duterte an across-the-board freeze on all rentals, utilities rate hikes, and service charges of government and the private sector,” she said in a statement released Saturday.


“To allow families and businesses to recover from the economic and social impact of COVID-19 all these rates should be frozen, including approvals made prior to COVID-19 quarantine measures. The freeze should last until December this year,” the lawmaker added.

Herrera-Dy, one of the House authors of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, noted that the move will revive consumer spending and restore business confidence once the global health crisis is over.


She also emphasized the importance of freezing housing rentals because rent expenses eat up about 20% to 50% of family budgets each month.

“Commercial space rents also comprise a big chunk of fixed costs of micro, small and medium enterprises. Medium-term and long term leases should be restructured or refinanced or both,” she said.

The lawmaker also appealed that once rate hikes get implemented next year, the increases should be staggered across several months, not in one drop.

A 60-day price freeze on basic goods, agriculture products and medicines has meanwhile been in place since March 20 amid the nationwide state of calamity. Economists say the price freeze has also helped ease the inflation rate in March to 2.5%.

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TAGS: Bernadette Herrera-Dy, IATF, rate hike, rents, service charge, transport fare
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