Press Release
July 14, 2009

Rent Control Law signed into law

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed Republic Act No. 9653 or the Rent Control Act of 2009 in a ceremony held in Malacañang today. The new law aims to protect over 1.5 million households, as well as million who rent rooms and bed spaces in dormitories and are exposed to possible abuse by property owners. President Arroyo thanked Congress for the timely passage of the law and the bipartisan support for the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, principal author and co-sponsor of the law in the Senate, said "the new Rent Control Law is one of the socio-economic measures that Congress has lined-up to ease the burden of Filipinos in the face of the global economic crisis."

Zubiri added, "we have enacted into laws the Socialized and Low-Cost Housing Loan Restructuring Program, the Cheaper Medicines Act, Amendment to PDIC Charter or increasing the insurance on deposits to P500,000. The new Salary Standardization Law, and other similar laws which would help alleviate the sufferings and difficulties of our people in these hard and trying times." Zubiri further said, "that is why in the new Rent Control Law, we even reduced the annual rate of increase of rent from the previous Ten percent to only Seven percent."

The Majority Leader who once experienced living in a dormitory while taking up his Agri-Business Management course at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna, expressed disappointment that up to this day "that housing projects by private housing developers and even by the government housing agencies are not affordable to many Filipinos."

"It is imperative that we take steps to protect the interest of our fellow citizens who are forced by circumstances to rent, by once again enacting the Rent Control Law" Zubiri said.

The Rent Control Act of 2009 retains many of the salient provisions of the previous Rent Control Law which expired last December 31, 2008. These include the covered monthly rental from one peso to ten thousand pesos (P10,000) for Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities, and one peso to five thousand pesos (P5,000) for all other areas.

Zubiri stressed "Congress did as much for the renting public. The rent increases of covered units will only be at 7 percent annually, as long as the unit is occupied by the same lessee. This is a big decrease on the cap which used to be 10%. Clearly, this is in favor of those who rent. The limit on rent increase will be effective until December 31, 2013."

However, the new law has also authorized the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) to continue the regulation of the rental of certain residential units, to determine the period of regulation and its subsequent extensions if warranted, to determine the residential units covered and to adjust the allowable limit on rental increases per annum after December 31, 2013, taking into consideration certain conditions as specified in the law.

Other provisions that were retained under the Rent Control Act of 2009 include the following:

  • a lessor could not demand more than one month advance and two months deposit;

  • a lessor or his successor-in-interest is prohibited from ejecting a lessee on the ground that the leased premises has been sold or mortgaged to a third person, regardless of whether the lease or mortgage is registered or not.

The new law also retained the grounds for Judicial Ejectment as provided in the previous law.

Zubiri urged that "until every Filipino family can afford to buy or build their own homes and until we can assure that our busiest districts are readily accessible by convenient and faster means of transportation even to those who do not live close by or in the rural areas or outside of urban centers, it is imperative that we support those who opted to rent for convenience and forced by circumstances, and to stretch the amount of their pay checks."

Zubiri also thanked Senator Rodolfo Biazon, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement and the Senate leadership, as well as Speaker Prospero Nograles and Cong. Rodolfo Valencia, the Chair of the House Committee on Housing, for the speedy passage of the law. Others who attended the signing ceremony in Malacañang were Zubiri, Speaker Prospero Nograles, Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, chairman of the House committee on housing, Deputy Speaker Amelita Villarosa, and Rep. Del De Guzman among others.

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