Apart from providing financial aid and assistance to the sectors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bayanihan 2 also contains several non-monetary benefits that will provide some relief during the ongoing health crisis, Senator Sonny Angara said.
Angara, who sponsored the Bayanihan to Recover as One bill as chair of the Committee on Finance, noted how many businesses, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) have suffered huge losses due to the community quarantines (CQ) that prohibited them from operating.
“Many of these businesses are bleeding and are in danger of closing shop. Their employees have likewise been affected and could also end up losing their jobs so we have to provide them with whatever assistance we could during these challenging times,” the veteran legislator said.
“Bayanihan 2 contains P55 billion for the provision of low-interest loans and loan guarantees.”
“Bayanihan 2 contains P55 billion for the provision of low-interest loans and loan guarantees for MSMEs, displaced workers, OFWs, and healthcare institutions affected by the pandemic. Both houses of Congress made sure to also include other forms of assistance to these sectors to help keep their heads above water,” the seasoned lawmaker added.
Under Bayanihan 2, a one-time 60-day grace period for the payment of all existing, current and outstanding loans falling due on or before December 31, 2020 will be provided.
Electric, water, telecommunications and other similar utilities are also directed to provide a minimum 30-day grace period for the payment of bills falling due within the period of ECQ or MECQ.
A minimum 30-day grace period on residential and commercial rents will also be granted for lessees not permitted to work and MSMEs and cooperatives ordered to temporarily cease operations, falling due within the period of the community quarantine, without incurring interests, penalties, fees and other charges.
“These grace periods will provide them with some wiggle room while they are picking up the pieces.”
“Because businesses were not allowed to operate and the work of many employees were suspended, they have a hard time settling their obligations. These grace periods will provide them with some wiggle room while they are picking up the pieces,” the senator said.
Bayanihan 2 also provides for the moving of statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing and submission of any document, the payment of taxes, fees and other charges required by law, and the grant of any benefit, in order to ease the burden on individuals under CQ.
The bill also includes a provision that would allow affected businesses to carry over their net operating loss for the taxable years of 2020 and 2021 as a deduction from gross income for the next five consecutive taxable years following the year of such loss.
Regulatory relief is also granted to business entities by directing the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies to desist from imposing fines and other monetary penalties for the non-filing, late filing or failure to comply with compulsory notification and other reportorial requirements.
For the hard-hit creative sector, which includes film, performing arts, design, fashion and music, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Interior and Local Government are tasked to review the imposition of the amusement tax.
The President is authorized to suspend, reduce or waive the imposition of the tax as recommended by the DTI and DILG for a period of six months.