Tenants to get 30-day extension in paying residential rent under ‘Bayanihan Law’

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2020   •   982

MANILA, Philippines – Tenants struggling to pay their residential rent during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon will be given a one-month extension to settle their dues under the newly-signed ‘Bayanihan to Heal as One’ Law.

Under the Republic Act No. 11469 recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, a minimum of 30-day grace period is provided on residential rents falling due within the quarantine period “without incurring interests, penalties, fees, and other charges” to ease the burden of individuals affected by the Luzon-wide community quarantine.

The provision, which was recommended by Senator Grace Poe during Monday’s special session, is seen as a move to help especially low-wage earners who are struggling to pay their rental payments during this public health crisis.

“Many renters live paycheck to paycheck but during these extraordinary times when they suddenly need to work or not at all, they might not have enough to pay for their rent and may even face the possibility of eviction,” Poe said.

“In pushing for this provision in the bill, we hope to ease the growing financial burden of the pandemic particularly on millions of poor Filipino households,” she added.

The Duterte administration also moved the statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing of any document, the payment of taxes, fees and other charges required by law in view of the continuing rise of confirmed novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

The law also grants Duterte additional powers to deal with the current crisis, including realigning any appropriation in the national budget to fast-track government response against COVID-19, provide poor Filipino families with P5,000 to P8,000 financial aid for two months under an expanded Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.

The measure also provides the payment of a special risk allowance for all public health frontliners, and the anti-hoarding and profiteering of hygiene and sanitation products. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Swiss graffiti artist pays tribute to frontline worker ‘super-heroes’

UNTV News   •   April 7, 2020

Swiss artist David Perez alias “S.I.D.” paid tribute on Sunday (April 5), to the “everyday super-heroes” working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic, by painting a giant portrait representing a cashier on Gland town’s walls.

“Today, I will especially pay tribute to cashiers. They are on the frontline with nurses and others. So, it is for our everyday super-heroes”, the 35 years-old graffiti artist told Reuters.

All the residents of the Swiss town of Gland, located between Lausanne and Geneva, who pass through this underground tunnel can also admire a portrait of a nurse that SID did two weeks ago.

A few meters away, there is now a cashier wearing a mask and scanning a bottle of liquid soap, which took the artist 5 hours to make.

“The symbolic is very strong and this is really beautiful”, said local resident Coline Bovet, who was on a walk with her husband and had the surprise to find SID at work.

The cashier was modelled by one of SID’s friends, 25 years old Manuela Perrone, who does not work at a supermarket but just wanted to pay tribute to workers in contact with the public and possible contamination.

On the bottle of soap that the cashier is holding, the artist wrote “thank you”.

SID said he plans to draw other giant portraits of workers in the coming weeks, such as construction workers or garbage collectors. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Cecile Mantovani and Denis Balibouse)

PNP to implement 50-50 work scheme due to COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement a 50-50 work scheme among personnel who are based at the national headquarters in Camp Crame.

This is due to the rising number of PNP personnel who have become patients under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

The 50-50 work scheme would use 50 percent or the first batch of personnel to go on duty at the administrative office until April 19 while the second batch will go on duty from April 20 to May 3.

According to a memorandum issued on April 4, the heads of offices/units with essential functions shall determine the work scheme applicable to the personnel, as long as they should observe a 14-day self-quarantine/isolation as part of the PNP’s health protocol.

“Maaaring magpatupad sila ng kani-kanilang scheduling para hindi naman maapektuhan ang ating normal functions,” said PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac.

Meanwhile, police personnel who are aged 45 years old and above will have to be pulled out from the checkpoint areas.

“Mas vulnerable sila sa COVID-19 (They are more vulnerable to COVID-19),” Banac said.

The PNP will also launch Admin Support to COVID-19 Task Force (ASCoTF) to ensure an organized and speedy logistics, response, and development of frontliners.

The PNP has already recorded 19 police personnel that tested positive for COVID-19 with two deaths.

The total number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the PNP has already reached more than 1,300. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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UK PM Johnson admitted to hospital as Britain enters third week of lockdown

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in hospital in London on Monday (April 6) suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, but Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, had been isolating in Downing Street after testing positive for the virus last month, was taken to hospital on Sunday night because he still had a high temperature and his doctors felt he needed additional tests.

Meanwhile, Britain entered its third week in lockdown with authorities warning they will have to impose further restrictions on outdoor exercise if people continued to flout rules designed to curb transmission of the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “unbelievable” to see a small minority flouting the government’s advice to maintain social-distancing.

Hancock said if people did not follow the rules, which allow people to walk, run or cycle outdoors once a day but not sunbathe, he would have to ban exercise of all forms outside the home.

He said the timetable to ease restrictions – the lockdown exit strategy – could only be agreed once the spread of the coronavirus had been brought under control.

Other European countries such as Italy and France have imposed tougher restrictions on people leaving their homes. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Gerhard Mey, Ben Makori.)

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