April 2, 2023

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered lending and financing companies to defer the collection of payments and charging of penalties while the country remains under a state of national emergency due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a notice to lending companies, financing companies and microfinance non-government organizations on April 2, the SEC reiterated the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which empowered the President to implement a minimum 30-day grace period for the payment of all loans.

Under the IRR issued by the Department of Finance on April 1, all lenders, including those under the supervision of the SEC, shall apply the 30-day grace period to all loans with principal and/or interest falling due during the enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12. 

The IRR also covers banks, quasi-banks, non-stock savings and loan associations, credit card issuers, pawnshops and other credit granting financial institutions under the supervision of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Cooperative Development Authority, whether public or private, including the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, and Pag-IBIG Fund. 

The IRR took effect immediately upon publication in a newspaper of general circulation. The mandatory grace period shall be extended automatically if the President extends the quarantine period.

All covered institutions shall not impose additional interest, fees and other charges during the 30-day grace period to the future payments or amortizations of their borrowers. 

Borrowers may also pay the interest accrued during the 30-day grace period on a staggered basis over the remaining life of the loan.

All covered institutions are further prohibited from requiring their borrowers to waive the application of the mandatory grace period.

No waiver previously executed by borrowers for payments falling due during the enhanced community quarantine shall be valid. – Press release