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BAGUIO CITY – The city legislative body approved on second reading and for publication a proposed ordinance mandating the grant of a rental holiday on real properties, buildings, stalls, units or spaces used for commercial business or industrial purposes in the city for the entirety of the prevailing extended Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine.
The ordinance authored by all members of the city legislative body stated that it will be mandated by the city government that lease rentals of real properties, buildings, stalls, units or spaces used for commercial business or industrial purposes shall not be collected by owners, lessors, sub-lessors, operators, administrators or managers for the entirety of the quarantine period or until the same is lifted.
The ordinance added that all city, national government, government-owned and controlled corporations and private owned real properties, commercial or industrial establishments in the city covered by lease contracts or under a lessor-lessee relations where the parties obligations under Articles 1654 and 1657 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines or terms in the lease contracts could not be fulfilled by reason of the closure of such establishments as mandated by Presidential Proclamation No. 922, Memorandum on the guidelines on the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine and the stringent social distancing measures by the Executive Secretary, Executive Order Nos. 65 and 67, series of 2020, of the City Mayor and other national and city issuances.
Further, other establishments covered by the measure are all establishments not ordered closed under the enhanced community quarantine issuances, but nevertheless chose to close during the entirety of the aforesaid period and that the business permit showing the line of business of the same shall be sufficient to determine coverage to the rental holiday.
The ordinance stipulated that the owners, lessors, operators, administrators or managers of the covered establishments within a period of 30 days after the lifting of the quarantine shall make a written report of the compliance addressed to the City Mayor through the Permits and Licensing Division.
The ordinance tasked the Baguio City Market Authority (BCMA), through the City Market Superintendent, to make a report on the operation of the covered establishments in behalf of the city.
Under the proposed ordinance, any covered establishment violating the proposed measure shall be closed, their business permit revoked and any business permit application shall be denied until full compliance to the aforestated conditions. In addition, the persons responsible for such violation shall be fined P5,000 and imprisonment of 1 year upon conviction of the courts.
The ordinance added that the City Legal Office shall actively investigate and prosecute violations of the proposed legislative measure.
The ordinance mandated the establishment of a complaint section for violators of the terms of the proposed measure and the same shall validate complaints within 24 hours and immediately impose the administrative sanction of closure, revocation of business permit and the filing of complaint in court with or without the participation of the affected lessee, the city government being the complainant represented by the City Mayor.
By Dexter A. See