DTI orders waiving of rents, fees for closed stores inside malls

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has ordered mall operators to waive rents and other fees for stores that are forced to shut down during the 30-day community quarantine in Metro Manila.

“Lessors and owners of business spaces shall share the responsibility by waiving the corresponding rental fees and charges of stores that were closed during the one-month period of General Community Quarantine,” the DTI Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 20-04 stated.

The DTI issued the circular on Sunday.

The MC limits mall operations to establishments offering basic necessities such as groceries, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, health clinics, bookstores, hardware stores, and food stalls but only for delivery and take-out services.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said those establishments that will remain open during the quarantine period shall pay their rents and other charges.

“They negotiate on their discounts if applicable,” Lopez told reporters in a text message Monday.

It added that business process outsourcing offices inside malls are also allowed to operate during the community quarantine period.

Aside from malls, the order prohibits operations of night clubs, barns, taverns, cocktail lounges, discotheques, beer parlors and pubs in Metro Manila.

Casinos, bingo halls, video gaming terminals, lotteries, and off-track betting are also included in the temporary shutdown until April 14.

The MC also closes arts, entertainment, and recreation places like concert halls, theaters, and art exhibits.

The government also orders lessors and owners of these business spaces to waive rents and other fees during the quarantine.

Source: Philippines News Agency