June 7, 2023

The city council has approved on first reading a proposed ordinance seeking to grant a rental holiday on all establishments in the city owned or controlled by the city and national governments during this year’s general community quarantine period.

The proposal is to apply the rental holiday to all corporations, real properties, commercial or industrial establishments, stalls, spaces, and units owned/controlled by the city and national governments covered by lease contracts that have been ordered closed as well as those that have not been ordered closed but opted not to operate during the GCQ. 

Once enacted, the rental holiday ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan and Councilor Philian Weygan-Allan shall take effect retroactively starting Sept. 24, 2021 until the GCQ has been lifted. 

The proposed ordinance has specific provisions for stalls in the public market and in city-owned parks. 

The proposal states leaseholders of stalls within the city public market that continue to operate during the ongoing GCQ shall settle their unpaid rentals. However, leaseholders of stalls that did not operate during this period shall not pay rentals. 

All concessionaires at Burnham Park and Botanical Garden shall also be exempted from paying their rentals during the GCQ. The rental holiday shall apply to pay toilet concessionaires as long as they did not operate as certified by the City Environment and Parks Management Office.

The Local Finance Committee shall provide the names of all tenants who may avail of the rental holiday. The City Treasury Office shall make the necessary compliance report within 30 days after the lifting of the GCQ status. Copies of the report shall be forwarded to the city council and the mayor.

The ordinance has been referred to the sanggunian’s committee on appropriations and finance cluster B (taxes, fees, and other charges) for review. – Jordan G. Habbiling