March 4, 2024

In the midst of the overwhelming situation brought about by the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19), Good Samaritans in the form of landlords in La Trinidad, Benguet are waiving rental fees for their boarders is a breath of fresh air.
Keith Damogo, a landlord in Barangay Pico, whose post of a screenshot of his conversation with his niece telling her to waive this month’s rental for their boarders, started making rounds in the social media, has paved the way for other landlords to follow suit.
“Where will they get their payments? So, I started posting in case other landlords would also take notice and they would follow me. This is for the benefit of the community if we unite together,” said Damogo, who is currently based in South Korea.
Other lessors followed suit with Emmanuel Ayban of Barangay Balili announcing on his Facebook account he will not collect the monthly rentals of his tenants from March 15 to April 15.
Valred Olsim, the designated local economic and investment officer of the municipality, said other lessors also waived this month’s rental fees are Daisy Laus and Elsie Libag also from Barangay Pico.
“They understand the socio-economic effect of the crisis that’s why they did it voluntarily,” Olsim said.
He added La Trinidad officials have lobbied for socio-economic measures, which includes encouraging public utility companies, landlords, and real property lessors to waive at least the deadline for payment of their clients or tenants.
Olsim said there are many others in the municipality that waived their rental fees, taking cue from their fellow lessors.
“We thank them just the same. We posted it so that they would inspire or encourage others,” he said.
The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon has greatly affected the economy with offices and companies forced to close with the exception of several establishments such as groceries, pharmacies, and medical facilities as a precaution against the spread of the Covid-19. 
Earlier, the town council has requested public utility services, financial institutions, property, and lessors or landlords to suspend the surcharges of overdue bills and to extend the payment of their deadlines until May.
The Benguet Electric Cooperative has extended the due date of its electricity bills as well as the Baguio and La Trinidad Water Districts that waived the surcharges for their March billings to help those who are not able to pay their bills on time. – Ofelia C. Empian