Press Release
September 14, 2020

Tolentino lauds inclusion of "3-Gives Provision" in Bayanihan 2

MANILA - Senator Francis Tolentino lauds the inclusion of the so-called 'three-gives' payment scheme of utilities in the approved version of the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2) which was recently signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte.

"We thank President Duterte for including our 'three-gives' proposal, which will unburden many Filipino consumers in the payment of their bills, especially during this time," said Tolentino, adding that the chief executive's signing of Bayanihan 2 Act would definitely help affected sectors to recover from the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The said payment scheme which was first introduced Tolentino during the plenary deliberations for Bayanihan 2 provides much-needed relief for Filipinos in the payment of their electric, water and other utilities during the months long lockdown brought by the enhanced community quarantine policy due to the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Under Tolentino's proposal, electric, water, telecommunications and other similar utilities are mandated to provide a minimum of 30-day grace period for the payment of bills due within the period of enhanced community quarantine or modified enhanced community quarantine, without interest, penalties and other charges.

After the grace period, residential occupants and micro, small and medium enterprises may settle their bills in three monthly installments, also without penalties, interest and other charges.

Tolentino said that MSME and residential lessees who are affected by temporary work or operation stoppage are also given relief under the approved Bayanihan 2.

The lawmaker said they are given a month-long grace period within the period of the community quarantine to settle their obligation. The amount due within the period will be amortized in equal monthly installments until December 31, 2020.

The full "three-gives" provision of the Bayanihan 2 Law is as follows:

"Direct all institutions providing electric, water, telecommunications, and other similar utilities to implement a minimum of thirty (30)-day grace period for the payment of utilities falling due within the period of ECQ or MECQ without incurring interests, penalties, and other charges;

Provided, That after the grace period, unpaid residential and MSME utility bills may be settled on a staggered basis payable in not less than three (3) monthly installments, subject to the procedural requirements of the concerned regulatory agencies in the imposition of such installment plan without interests, penalties, and other charges; Provided, further, that covered institutions under this sub-section may offer less onerous payment terms, with the consent of their clients subject to the approval of their respective regulators;"

Provided, finally, That in the case of the electric power sector, the minimum thirty (30) day-grace period and staggered payment without interests, penalties and other charges shall apply to all payments due within the period of the ECQ or MECQ in the entire electric power value chain to include generation companies, the transmission utility, and distribution utilities;

(vv) Provide for a minimum of thirty (30)-day grace period on residential rents and commercial rents of lesseesnot permitted to work, and MSMEs ordered to temporarily cease operations, falling due within the period of the CQ,without incurring interests, penalties, fees, and other charges;

Provided, That all amounts due within the period of CQ shall be amortized in equal monthly installments until December 31, 2020 without any interests, penalties and other charges; Provided, further, That no increase in rent shall be imposed during the same period: Provided, furthermore, That the minimum thirty 30-day grace period shall be reckoned from the date of the lifting of the ECQ or MECQ."

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