‘Three-Gives Law’ for utility bills during calamities pushed
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Tolentino has filed a bill that would institutionalize a three – installments payment scheme on basic utility bills during a state of calamity.
Tolentino filed Senate Bill No. 1473 or the “Three-Gives Law” as the country grapples with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“It is the intent of this measure to uphold the general welfare of the people and to assist their economic well-being immediately after the occurrence of natural or man-made calamities or health epidemics,” Tolentino said in the bill’s explanatory note.
Under the bill, a moratorium on the payment of electric, water and telephone bills during the entire duration of a state of calamity will be imposed.
“Holders of public utility franchises and all service providers are prohibited from exacting payment or from disconnecting the service due to non-payment during the entire duration of the moratorium,” according to the measure.
“Any amount due and demandable during the moratorium period shall be payable in three (3) equal monthly installments, without interest, which shall accrue a month after the cessation of a state of calamity,” it added.
Earlier, the government ordered the moratorium on the payment of electric, water, telephone and other bills after the entire Luzon was placed under an enhanced community quarantine in a bid to curb the spread of the coronvirus.
At present, only Metro Manila and other “high risk” areas remain under an enhanced community quarantine until May 15 while a general community quarantine has been imposed on moderate to low-risk provinces since May 1.
As of Monday afternoon, Philippine health officials have confirmed 9,485 COVID-19 cases in the country.
One thousand three hundred fifteen patients have recovered while 623 others perished.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.