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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte / Quezon City PIO

Quezon City exempts lenders from ECQ

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said establishments providing loans and credits to the poor are exempted from the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) protocol.

Without compromising social distancing, Belmonte explained that these establishments that provide arrangements for “microfinancing, loans or credit’’ to local residents will be allowed to operate in the city amid the ECQ due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In Executive Order 29, Belmonte stressed that the city government is duty-bound to ensure the availability of sources of loans and credit to the poor and marginalized, during the ECQ.

“Entities that are duly regulated by governmental authorities to offer loans and credit will be allowed to operate so they can provide assistance to our citizens in need,” said Belmonte.

“We believe that this addresses a gap in the rules, which is sorely needed by our less fortunate residents, and we hope the national government feels the same way. The EO is pro-poor and gives the poor access to loans that they can’t avail from common banks,” she added.

Covered by the order are financial institutions supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) such as banks, non-stock savings and loans associations, money exchange/remittance companies, e-money issuers, payment system operators, and pawnshops.

Financial service cooperatives, credit cooperatives, and multi-purpose cooperatives that provide savings and credit to their members as regulated by the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) will also be allowed to operate.

Other establishments duly regulated by governmental authority providing micro-financing, loans, and other forms of credit to unemployed or low-income individuals are also exempted from the ECQ.

Belmonte said she included cooperatives and microfinance institutions (MFIs) that provide cash-strapped residents with loans which required minimum requirements.

However, Belmonte has required these establishments “to only deploy a skeletal workforce, who will be allowed to travel to and from their place of operation.’’

“The personnel are enjoined to follow the strict rules on social distancing, mass gathering, the wearing of face masks, and to observe proper hygiene,” Belmonte said.

“Employees of said establishments are also advised to carry their valid identification card duly issued by their companies for validation purposes by law enforcers,’’ she concluded.

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