BAGUIO CITY – The city solons are calling on the owners of boarding houses and dorms in the city to consider waiving the rental payments of students who have not occupied their boarding houses or dorms during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
Through a resolution unanimously approved June 22, the city council appeals on behalf of students who have not used their rented spaces due to circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed as the center of education in Northern Luzon, Baguio City continues to experience an influx of students from all over the country. The council resolution claims that, based on records, 85% of tertiary students come from outside Baguio City and that many of them are renting boarding houses, dorms, or bed spaces.
“Because of the suspension of classes in all levels in the City of Baguio, many students went home to their respective provinces leaving their rented spaces unoccupied,” the resolution reads.
The resolution also seeks rental waivers for local students who are renting near their schools but opted to stay with their families during the community quarantine period leaving their boarding houses/dorms unoccupied.
Councilor Vladimir Cayabas, main author of the resolution, underscored the need to give utmost consideration to these renting students who depend on their parents financially.
“Aside from the fact that the rented places have not been used or occupied, these student renters merely depend on their parents since they are not yet working,” Cayabas said.
Cayabas further stressed that the parents who pay the students’ rental fees are financially struggling as their source of income has likewise been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
While it acknowledges the policy set forth by the Department of Trade and Industry which grants a 30-day grace period on residential rents falling due within the period of the ECQ, the resolution calls for a more drastic move.
“What we are requesting on behalf of these affected Baguio students is waiving of rental charges especially for those who have not occupied their dorms or boarding houses during the implementation of the ECQ and GCQ in the locality,” Cayabas explained.
Earlier, the city council enacted an ordinance granting a rental holiday for lessors in establishments used for commercial or industrial purposes which were prevented from operating during the community quarantine period.
The City Government clarified that the Rental Holiday Ordinance does not apply to boarding houses, apartments, and other buildings/structures/rooms providing accommodations for extended periods of months or years.
Jordan G. Habbiling