Lessors urged to waive rent of students

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BAGUIO CITY June 30 – The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested lessors of boarding houses, dorms, bed spaces, and apartments in the city to consider waiving the rental payments of their student renters who have not occupied their rented spaces during the entirety of the Luzonwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and the general community quarantine (GCQ) implementation.

Under Resolution No. 367, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, city legislators stated that while the city acknowledges the need of the owners of boarding houses and dorms to recoup their financial investments in putting up their buildings, and some consider real estate leasing as their source of income, utmost consideration is being sought in these times as the student renters are mere dependent on their parents who are likewise badly affected by the global pandemic.

The council added that while the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has a policy on deferring rental payments, it is further prayed on behalf of the affected Baguio students for the waiving of their rental charges, especially those who have not occupied their rooms or dorms during the ECQ and GCQ implementation in the city.

The council disclosed that because of the outright suspension of classes in the city following the ECQ implementation last March 17, 2020, many students went home to their respective provinces leaving their rented spaces in the different boarding houses, dorms and apartments unoccupied and that their stay in their respective provinces was likewise extended due to the implementation of strict border control policies by the different local government units.

Earlier, classes in all levels both private and public in the city were suspended since March 13, 2020 to May 31, 2020 to protect the vulnerable pupils and students by compelling them to stay at home.

The council noted that Baguio City, being considered as the north’s center of education, has a large population of students, however, majority of them, especially those in the college level, are not permanent residents of the city.

Records show that around 85 percent of tertiary students are renting boarding houses, dorms, bed spaces or apartments located in the city’s barangays as their temporary shelter while pursuing their students for them to acquire a higher level of education.

According to local legislators, there are some lessors who have been compelling their student renters to pay their accumulated rent during the ECQ and GCQ implementation amidst the appeal from the national and local governments for them to be considerate during the prevailing crisis situation and for them to understand that everyone has been heavily impacted by the wrath of the deadly virus.

Earlier, the council passed Ordinance No. 54, series of 2020 that provided for a rental holiday for building owners whose spaces were rented for commercial and industrial purposes where the same were not used for their actual purpose during the ECQ implementation.

However, some lessors claimed that there are also some individuals who are simply trying to use the rental holiday to evade paying their obligation despite having the used their rented spaces during the ECQ implementation. By Dexter A. See

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