Coronavirus FAQ & Updates – Business & Legal

Coronavirus outsourcing FAQ

Coronavirus Business Recovery Action Plan

UPDATE: Coronavirus (COVID-19) is forcing a lot of companies to review their traditional staffing, offshore, and Work-From-Home (WFH) options. Outsourcing enables businesses to slash costs whilst at the same time maintain and rebuild their companies. If you’re a business owner exploring, or already outsourcing:

>>> Read the Coronavirus Business Recovery Action Plan

 

Coronavirus FAQ Notes

Coronavirus FAQ Content

 

A. Overview and Updates

Life in the time of Coronavirus is uncertain, but hopefully, the volunteers in this group can shed a little light on the murkier aspects of our new day-to-day brought about by the virus. Because life does go on.

A few things to note:

  1. As the situation is still fluid, with more information coming by the day, we hope that this will be an evolving document, and we will strive to release updates as new information or questions arrive.
  2. While we will bring the best of our knowledge and expertise to the answers given here, this document aims to point the reader in the right direction and is in no way a substitute for actual legal advice.

To start, here are a few useful resources:

  1. DOH COVID-19 Tracker – https://ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph/
  2. Global COVID-19 Tracker – https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
  3. Various Government Issuances (will endeavor to update folder regularly)-
    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1dbRT4iMStLHFOtwuLiKtOfR3WpiwIetQ?usp=sharing

What’s New in Version 2.1:

  1. General Revision:​ all FAQs in light of the 16 March 2020 declaration of Luzon as being under ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE.
  2. Updated:​ of Government Offices business schedules.
  3. Clarification:​ BIR ITR payments.
  4. Added​: Table on government filing extensions.
  5. Added​: Table on private companies giving relief from payments
  6. Added​: FAQs on Privacy in Reporting of Personal Data for Contact Tracing Purposes
  7. Added​: Table on measures taken by individual LGUs Nationwide

What’s New in Version 3:

  1. General Revision: all FAQs in light of Proclamation 929; DOLE, Additional Guidelines for the Community Quarantine by the IATF dated 18 March 2020; DOLE Department Order 209 )
  2. Updated: Table on private companies giving relief from payments
  3. Updated: New Annual Income Tax filing deadline, in light of Revenue Memorandum Circular Nos.28-2020 and 29-2020
  4. Added: Coronavirus Hotline Numbers

Please stay safe, everyone!

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Your Coronavirus FAQ Project volunteers.

 

B. FAQs on Freedom to Travel

1. What does “Community Quarantine” mean?

It is defined as follows:

  • GENERAL COMMUNITY QUARANTINE – where the movement of people shall be limited to accessing necessities and work; and uniformed personnel and quarantine officers shall be present at border points
  • ENHANCED COMMUNITY QUARANTINE – where strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated; heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented. (par. 3, Memorandum from the Executive Secretary re: Stringent Social Distancing Measures and Further Guidelines for the Management of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Situation [“SSDM”])

2. Who determines whether an area is under General or Enhanced Community Quarantine?

The LGU, taking into consideration the directives of the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) (par. 3, SSDM). ​As of 16 March 2020, the President has placed Luzon under an Enhanced Community Quarantine beginning 17 March 2020 to 12:00 a.m. of 13 April 2020. (​M​emorandum from Executive Secretary dated 16 March 2020​)

3. What is a State of Calamity?

A State of Calamity is “a condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to the environment, property, infrastructures, disruption of means of livelihoods and businesses, and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the occurrence of a natural or human-induced hazard. (NDRRMC Memorandum Order No. 60 – 2019)

On 16 March 2020, the President, through Proclamation No. 929, declared a State of Calamity throughout the entire country.

What this means is that the President can exercise extraordinary powers to release funds, and call for other measures during this period to lessen the effects of the calamity. These include, among others:

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  • To impose a price ceiling on basic necessities and prime commodities;
  • Monitor and prevent profiteering and hoarding of prime commodities;
  • Programming funds for the repair or upgrading of infrastructure;
  • To grant no-interest loans;
  • Utilize funds within affected LGUs.

A declaration of a State of Calamity is not a declaration of Martial Law. It does not suspend any rights of the citizens nor does it grant any of the extraordinary powers that come with a declaration of Martial Law to the executive.

4. Can I still go out?

No, save for certain exceptions. Stay at home.

The g​eneral rule​ is that a strict home quarantine shall be observed in all households; movement shall be limited to accessing basic necessities; provision for food and essential health services shall be regulated; and there will be heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures.

Exceptions:​

  1. Only 1 (one) person per household is allowed to go outside their homes to buy basic necessities. Use of private vehicles for this purpose shall be allowed. You may also choose to walk;
  2. Media vehicles and reporters shall be allowed to travel within the community quarantine area, provided that they secure a special media pass from the PCOO;
  3. Land, air and sea travel of uniformed personnel for official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to the Coronavirus, and other humanitarian assistance, shall be allowed.
  4. Heads of mission or their designated foreign mission representatives, including limited foreign mission personnel may be exempted from the quarantine whenever performing diplomatic functions.
  5. The following shall be allowed until end of 20 March 2020:
    1. Transfer of necessary equipment of BPO and export-oriented establishments to facilitate work from home arrangements; and
    2. BPOs and export-oriented establishments to make arrangements with hotels for basic lodging.

*For purposes of the above, personnel of BPOs and export-oriented enterprises shall be allowed to travel, subject to presentation of proof of employment, address of employer and residence.

Mass public transport facilities shall be suspended. No rail (MRT, LRT, PNR) no buses, jeepneys, taxis, TNVS (Grab, Angkas), FX, UV Express, and P2P buses will be operational

Mass gatherings ar​e PROHIBITED. A mass gathering is a planned or spontaneous event where the number of people attending the event could strain the planning and response resources of the LGU where the event will be held. It includes movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies and non-essential work related gatherings.

(S​ources​:​ ​Memorandum from Executive Secretary dated 16 March 2020;​ ​DOTr Advisory)

5. What is Social Distancing?

Maintenance of a distance of at least one (1) meter radius between and among people attending events. (par. 2., SSDM)

6. Can I leave town? Go abroad?

  • a. DOMESTIC TRAVEL – No, see above;
  • b. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL – A​ irport operation shall be limited to outgoing flights carrying foreigners and tourists.​ Filipinos are not allowed to go outside the country;​ ​Inbound flights will only be for repatriating Filipinos.
    (Par. 5, ​ ​DOTr Advisory)​

7. What are the rules for those who have been identified as COVID-19 PUIs or PUMs?

Persons Under Investigation (PUI) (i.e., those with travel history, or have been in the same close environment with a Coronavirus patient and have exhibited mild symptoms) must be immediately admitted to the designated Coronavirus isolation while hospital staff, in proper protective equipment, will take swabs for testing.

Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) (i.e., asymptomatic patients with appropriate exposure history) are advised to:

  1. Inform the DOH’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) by submitting the Case Investigation Form (CIF);
  2. Consult with the nearest health facility once they are showing any symptoms;
  3. Undergo a 14-day home quarantine; and
  4. Secure certification from the City/Municipal Health Officer proving that they completed the 14-day quarantine.

 

C. FAQs for Employers & Employees

1. Am I allowed to operate my business during this time? What are to remain open during the Enhanced Community Quarantine?

General Rule: No, the purpose of the enhanced community quarantine is to limit the movement and interaction of individuals, including the transportation to and from the workplace.

Businesses which are allowed to operate:

  • (1) Those that provide basic necessities and such activities related to food and medicine production:
    • Public Markets
    • Supermarkets
    • Groceries
    • Convenience Stores
    • Hospitals
    • Medical Clinics
    • Pharmacies and Drugstores
    • Food Preparation and Delivery Services
    • Water Refilling Stations
    • Manufacturing and Processing Plants of Basic Food Products and
    • Medicines
    • Banks
    • Money Transfer Services
    • Power and Energy
    • Water Companies
    • Telecommunications Supplies and Facilities
  • (2) Business Process Outsourcing
  • (3) Export Oriented Industries

*For Nos. 1-3 above, employers must ensure that:

    • Skeletal Workforce shall be implemented
    • Strict Social Distancing Measures are observed
  • (4) Media Companies
  • (5) Transportation
    • a) Air Travel
      • i) To service outbound passengers intending to depart the Philippines from any of the international airports in Luzon. A period of seventy-two hours commencing at 12:00 AM midnight on March 17, 2020 and ending at midnight March 20, 2020
      • ii) To transport inbound international passengers
    • b) Land and Sea
      • i) To transport uniformed personnel for official business, especially those transporting medical supplies, laboratory specimens related to Coronavirus, and humanitarian assistance, shall be allowed.
    • c) Cargo
  • (6) Those that have implemented a “Telecommuting/Work from Home” scheme with their employees
  • (7) Hotels or similar establishments, but only the following:
    • a) Foreign guests who have existing booking accommodations as of March 17, 2020;
    • b) Guests with long term leases; and
    • c) Employees from exempted establishments under the provisions of the 16 March 2020 Memorandum (e.g. BPOs, healthcare workers, etc.)
  • NOTE: POGOS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPERATE

(Sources: Memorandum from Executive Secretary dated 16 March 2020; Additional Guidelines for the Community Quarantine by the IATF dated 18 March 2020 )

2. I work in a BPO or Export-oriented company, how can I report to work if all public transportation companies are not operating?

For those in Business Process Outsourcing and Export Oriented Industries, the skeletal personnel must be provided temporary housing arrangements by the employer. Such temporary accommodation arrangements must be provided by March 18, 2020.

Hence, you can approach your employer once assigned as skeletal personnel and request for temporary housing arrangements.

( S​ources: ​Memorandum from Executive Secretary dated 16 March 2020)​

3. What are the options available for my business during this community quarantine?

Given the limited mobility of employees, suppliers and customers, it is inevitable that business will suffer a loss in revenue. Hence, aside from outright termination of workers or total closure of establishments, the DOLE through Labor Advisories Nos. 9 and 11, provided guidelines on opting for “flexible working arrangements” as a better alternative to the above choices.

Link to DOLE Labor advisory for easy reference:

Labor Advisory 09-20 “Guidelines on the Implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements as Remedial Measure due to the Ongoing Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Labor Advisory 11-20 (page 2 here) “Supplemental Guidelines Relative to Remedial Measures in View of the Ongoing Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

In addition, DOLE also introduced the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (“CAMP”) for affected workers, allowing companies to avail of financial assistance for their employees (Source: DO 209 dated 17 March 2020)

4. What are the “flexible working arrangements”?

Flexible work arrangements, which are temporary, refer to alternative arrangements or schedules other than the traditional or standard work hours, workdays, and workweek.

It is one of the coping mechanisms and remedial measures in times of economic difficulties and national emergencies and is recognized as beneficial in terms of reducing business costs and saving jobs while maintaining competitiveness and productivity in industries.

Examples are the ff:

  • Telecommuting/work from home – work arrangement in which the employee renders remote work, often working from home
  • Reduction of workdays or work hours – normal workhours or workdays are reduced i.e 4-day workweek
  • Rotation of workers – employees are rotated or alternately provided work within the week i.e employees are split into 2 shifts. 1 shift works M-W-F, another shift works T-TH-S
  • Implementation of forced leaves – employees are required to go on leave for several days or weeks utilizing their leave credits if there are any.

Flexible working arrangements are not limited to these modes since DOLE encourages employers and employees to explore other flexible work arrangements to cushion the effect of loss of income of employees.

5. What is CAMP?

Under DOLE DO 209, CAMP is a safety net program that offers financial support to affected workers in private establishments that have adopted Flexible Working Arrangements (FWA) or temporary closure during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Under this program, a one-time financial assistance equivalent to PHP 5,000 shall be provided to affected workers in lump-sum, non-conditional, regardless of employment status.

6. Who are the affected workers?

Affected workers are those in private establishments that suffer or face interruption due to the Coronavirus pandemic including:

  • Those whose employment is temporarily suspended by reason of suspension of operations
  • Those whose regular hours are reduced and therefore, regular wages are reduced due to the implementation of FWA’s as mitigating measures

Government employees are not affected workers as they do not now work in private establishments. Hence, they are excluded from the program.

7. My company is interested in CAMP, how do I avail of it?

  • (a. )Applications with complete documentary requirements shall be submitted online to the appropriate DOLE Regional Office or any of its provincial/field offices. Email addresses listed here
  • (b.) Documentary requirements are the following:
    • (i.) Establishment Report (download here) pursuant to Labor Advisory Nos. 9-2020 and 11-2020
    • (ii.) Company payroll for the month prior to the implementation of FWA or temporary closure
  • (c.) Applications shall be evaluated by concerned DOLE Regional Office within
    three working days from receipt thereof.
  • (d.) The following depending on the status of evaluation shall be issued to the
    applicant by the concerned DOLE Regional Office within three working days
    through email:

    • (i.) For approved application: Notice of Approval
    • (ii.) For denied application: Notice of denial

8. Am I required to implement flexible working arrangements? What if my employees are demanding it?

DOLE recommends and encourages the implementation of flexible working arrangements, but leaves it to the discretion of the employers whether to implement it or not. It is not demandable on the part of the employees. It is also not the responsibility of the employer to provide the tools with which the employees can work from home, e.g. strong internet connection, electricity, utilities, etc.

However, while not mandatory, this is something for employers to consider in crafting their respective business continuity measures.

9. What is the process of going about and implementing flexible working arrangements?

  • Employers and employees meet to explore adopting flexible working arrangements to cushion and mitigate the effect of the loss of income.
  • Publish a copy of Labor Advisory No. 9, 2020 in a conspicuous location in the workplace
  • Notify DOLE through the Regional/Provincial/Field Office which has jurisdiction over the workplace using the Establishment Report Form on COVID – 19 (“Report Form”) to the employers’ respective DOLE Regional/Provincial/Field Offices having jurisdiction over their businesses.
  • For Flexible Work Arrangements, employers are required to submit to DOLE at least one (1) week before implementation. Given the current circumstances, we advise employers to still comply with the notification even if the arrangement has already been implemented or the one (1)-week notice proves to be too prejudicial. Likewise, indicate in the Notice to DOLE the justifiable reason why the one (1)-week notice period cannot be complied with.

10. What are the forms needed to file with DOLE?

Fill out an Establishment Report (download here)

11. Do we need to pay employees if they are put on forced leave?

No. Under the principle of no work, no pay. However, leaves of absences of employees during the community quarantine period shall be charged against the workers’ existing leave credits. The remaining unpaid leaves during the quarantine period may be covered and subject to conditions provided in the proposed COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

As of this date, no details on this program have emerged. Note that in normal circumstances, a “forced leave” without pay is not generally allowed by the law, however, these are special circumstances and the DOLE expressly granted the same through their recent issuances.

We encourage employers to exercise such discretion on the formulation and implementation of the arrangements, in utmost good faith, by taking into consideration the Guidelines’ purpose to mitigate the
employees’ loss of income, as well.

However, this does not prevent you from taking the initiative and paying your employees nonetheless. This finds basis under the principle of management prerogative which allows employers to implement rules and measures it
deems appropriate for their teams.

12. Small business owner: Employees were advised not to come into work until after lockdown, but employees only have five days of sick leave, and SBO does not want to eat into their holiday leave. If SBO gives them half a month’s pay for the lockdown, will this be compliant with labour laws?

During the enhanced community quarantine, the grant of half-month’s pay for the lockdown is largely dependent on the discretion of the employer.

Under existing advisories to date, leaves of absences of employees during the community quarantine period shall be charged against the workers’ existing leave credits. If no more leave credits remain, then the principle of no work, no pay applies – the employer does not have to pay its employees who are on forced leave under the current circumstances.

13. How does this affect the computation of 13th-month pay?

As of this writing, no rules are given out by DOLE for any adjustments, but it would be safe to assume that we follow the regular rules for now.

14. Luzon is now under Enhanced Community Quarantine. Will my employees be allowed to travel to and from home to work?

No, save for the establishments listed in Par. No. 1.

If your employees work in the listed establishments that will remain open, you must present proof of employment AND residency in checkpoints, such as:

  1. Identification Card (ID) containing the Company’s address/place of work AND employee’s place of residence. (It has to be both);
  2. Certification of Employment (“COE”) issued by the Company which shall state the place of work.
  3. Proof of residence

15. Are freelance/self-employed workers covered by the curfew and community quarantine? What documents would you need to pass through checkpoints?

See above.

16. Are there cash loan facilities that can be availed of to tide employees over during this no-work, no-pay period?

Pag-IBIG Fund members who reside in areas declared under a state of calamity and are affected by such disasters can avail of the Pag-IBIG Fund Calamity Loan. The loan seeks to provide immediate financial assistance to
help members recover from the effects of such calamity.

It comes at a low-interest rate of 5.95% per annum. The loan is payable within 24 months and has a deferred first payment.

To date, only Quezon City and San Juan have declared a state of calamity.
https://www.pagibigfund.gov.ph/STL_MPL_Calamity.html#calamitylanding

17. Are there available benefits for workers affected by Coronavirus-induced layoffs and closures?

SSS premium-paying members can avail of unemployment benefits equivalent to half of their average monthly salary credit for a maximum of two months. This applies if they are displaced because of redundancy, installation of labour-saving devices, retrenchment, closure or cessation of operation, and disease or illness.

They should have paid the requisite minimum number of monthly contributions for three years to qualify for this unemployment benefit, twelve of which should have been made in the last eighteen months. (Section 14-B, RA 11199;
https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1096455; https://www.dof.gov.ph/sss-ready-to-payunemployment-benefits-of-workers-affected-by-covid-induced-firm-layoffs-closures)

 

D. FAQs on Business

1. Can I remain open for business?

See above. Only those that provide basic necessities and such activities related to food and medicine production are permitted to remain open during the enhanced quarantine period provided that social distancing and other safety and health measures are strictly observed.

The call to remain open is emphasized for businesses that provide ​essential services such as banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants with online delivery service, and medical facilities.

2. I own a restaurant/ catering service. Can I remain open?

Yes only for pick-up and delivery. Since movement is restricted, it is best if the restaurant or catering service itself had its own in-house delivery service since GrabFood, FoodPanda are not currently in operation. It is also advised that you have your riders/ drivers bring with them a Certificate from your restaurant or catering service that they are indeed delivering food.

3. What is Force Majeure and how does this affect my contracts?

“Force Majeure”, also known as “fortuitous event” or “acts of God”, refers to events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable. (Civil Code Art 1174). The Coronavirus pandemic is a declared example of force majeure.

Under the law, a case of force majeure generally excuses a person from performing its obligations under a contract, subject to observance of the following: i.) the cause for non-compliance with the obligation must be independent of the will of the person mandated to comply with the obligation; ii.) the event must be either unforeseeable or unavoidable; iii.) the must be such as to render it impossible to fulfill the obligation in a normal manner; and iv.) the person mandated to comply with the obligation must be free from any participation in, or aggravation of the injury to the person to whom the obligation shall be rendered.

There are exceptions though, to the rule that force majeure excuses a person from performing obligations under a contract, such as when the law or a provision of the contract says otherwise, or when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk. (Civil Code 1174)

4. What are the examples of situations when the law makes a person liable even if there is force majeure?

For example, if the person who, under the contract, is liable to deliver something is already in delay even before the fortuitous event occurred, he or she is still responsible for any fortuitous event until he or she delivers. (Civil Code Art 1165)

An example of this is if you were supposed to deliver something prior to the Coronavirus situation, the current situation, at best, will only exempt you from liability for the current period, but you would still be liable for the previous delay.

Furthermore, the person must not be guilty of negligence, otherwise, he or she would still be liable even if there is force majeure. (Tan Chiong vs inchausti, 22 Phil. 152)

5. May we stipulate in the contract in advance that parties will be liable even if there is force majeure?

In advance, yes. Not after the force majeure has taken place unless both parties agree.

6. So what does this all mean for the contracts I have?

At the end of the day, it means that both sides will need to be reasonable. This is a new situation and sitting down with the person on the other side of the contract to renegotiate is highly encouraged.

The general rule is that the force majeure event must actually prevent one or both parties from performing their side of the contract, whether partially or wholly. If this is not the case (ex. you can perform on the contract via the internet or without being hampered by the new regulations), then there is no force majeure to speak of and you would not be excused. Coronavirus, in short, is not a get-out-of-jail-free card to do work that you can (and should) do.

7. What if my goods are in transit through Metro Manila i.e Business in Bulacan and Customer in Cavite?

The movement of cargoes within Luzon shall be unhampered​. This should then include cargo in transit through Metro Manila.

8. Do I still need to continue paying mandatory SSS contributions during this period?

If the self-employed member realizes no income in any given month, he shall not be required to pay contributions for that month. He may, however, continue paying contributions under the same rules and regulations
applicable to a separate employee member. (Section 11-A, RA 11199)

9. Do we still pay rent during the community quarantine?

Lessors of (1) business establishments in malls; and (2) businesses offering leisure and entertainment (such as, night clubs, bars, taverns, cocktail lounges, discotheques, beer parlors and pubs,theatre halls, gambling facilities) shall waive corresponding rental fees and charges of these establishments during the one-month period of General Community Quarantine. If your business falls under these categories then your lessor should waive rental fees and charges. (DTI Memorandum Circular 20-04​)

 

E. FAQs for Government Offices and Services

1. What Government Offices will be open in the coming days and what services will they provide?

OFFICEOPERATING
SCHEDULE
SERVICES PROVIDEDSOURCE
LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
Philippine SenateMarch 16, 8am to
3pm
Senate is in recessSenior Senate
Staff member
House of RepresentativesWork suspended
until 12 April
Skeletal force in key
departments only
Link
JUDICIARY
Supreme Court of the
Philippines
March 16 (Flexible
Work Arrangement)
Skeletal force, but
“normal operation” is
expected
Link
ALL CourtsAll courts
nationwide shall
drastically reduce
operations starting
16 March 2020 to
15 April 2020
Operations of night
courts are
completely
suspended.
*SEE BELOW TABLE
FOR FULL DETAILS
Supreme
Court
Administrative
CIrcular No.
31-2020 dated
16 March 2020
EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Securities and Exchange
Commission
March 16No changes
announced, so far
Link
Philippine Competition
Commission
March 16 (skeletal
workforce)
Expect limited
services
Link
Philippine Ports Authority
Head Office
March 16
(skeletal workforce)
No changesPPA HRMD
Insurance CommissionWork suspended
until 12 April 2020
Receiving onlyLink
Land Registration
Authority
Skeletal workforce
beginning March 16
Only electronic
transactions will be
available; no public
services except on
exceptional
circumstances
Department of Foreign
Affairs
Skeletal workforce
from March 16 to
April 14
DFA branches
will operate on
shortened
schedules; applicants
with no urgent need
for consular services
(including passport
applications) are
advised to defer
their visits
Link
Intellectual Property
Office
Work is suspended
from March 16 to
April 14, but a
skeletal workforce
shall be maintained
Court hearings are
suspended; no
receiving of
documents –
deadlines (including
payments) falling
due from 16 March
2020 to 14 April 2020
may be filed on 15
April 2020; no
manual filing of
applications but
online filing may be
made.
Link
Department of Labor and
Employment
(Central/Regional/Field
Offices and Bureaus)
& DOLE Attached
Agencies:
Philippine Overseas
Welfare Administration,
Overseas Workers
Welfare Administration,
Professional Regulation
Commission
Starting March 16,
work schedule for
all will be from
Monday to
Thursday, 7AM to
7PM
Skeletal WorkforceDOLE
Administrative
Order No. 99,
Series of 2020;
National Labor Relations
Commission
Work Suspended
from March 15 to
April 12
1. SEnA Unit,
Complaint Unit
and Labor
Arbiter’s offices
shall be CLOSED;
2. Cashier and
Docket unit –
Skeletal Work
Force
3. Docket shall only
receive appeals
and pleadings;
4. All mandatory
conciliation and
mediation are
considered
TERMINATED and
parties are
mandated to
FILE POSITION
PAPERS one (1)
month from the
date of their
scheduled
conference;
5. All other hearings,
including SEnA
conferences ,are
reset one (1)
month from date
of scheduled
hearing.
NLRC
COVID-19
Advisory No. 2.
Bureau of CustomsCompressed
workweek schedule
for employees,
either Monday to
Thursday or
Tuesday to Friday
7AM to 6PM
Compressed schedules
will not apply to offices
rendering 24/7
services, e.g. airport,
port operations,
intelligence and
enforcement
operations
Philippine Ports AuthoritySkeletal workforce
starting March 16
Port management
offices in Manila will
remain in full
commercial operations
National Privacy
Commission
Cancellation until
further notice of ALL
settings for discovery
conferences, summary
hearings, mediation
proceedings before the
Complaints and
Investigation Division
and Legal Division
Link
Home Development
Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG)
NCR branches will
be open from 9AM
to 3PM on
Mondays, Tuesdays,
Thursdays and
Fridays only
Wednesdays and
weekends will be for
regular disinfection of
offices. Temperature
screening will be
conducted prior to
entry. Public is
encouraged to avail of
services thru online
channels – Virtual
Pag-IBIG via
www.pagibigfundservic
es.com/virtualpagibig
Hotline 8-Pag-IBIG
(8-7244244)
Email via
[email protected]
d.gov.ph
Chat via
www.pagibigfund.gov.
ph/chat
Government Service
Insurance System
GSIS Head Office to
remain closed until
March 17, skeletal
workforce and WFH
arrangements
Options, without
having to go to a GSIS
branch:
1. 905 GWAPS
machines installed
nationwide.
Through GWAPS,
members can also
check their
membership
records and their
loan balances
2. Access membership
records via the
Internet through
the eGSISMO
(Electronic GSIS
Members Online).
3. For inquiries about
the latest GSIS
programs,
members and
pensioners may visit
the GSIS website
(gsis.gov.ph) and
GSIS Facebook
account.
4. Members and
pensioners based in
Metro Manila may
also call the GSIS
Hotline at (02)
8847-47-47;
1800-88474747 (for
Globe and TM
subscribers – free
with minimum ₱8
load); or
1800-10-8474747
(for Smart, TNT and
Sun subscribers – ₱8
per call)
Link
National Bureau of
Investigation
Clearance processing is
suspended until 13
April, 2020.
Link

*ALL Courts: Services Provided:

  • Skeleton staff will be on stand-by.
  • NO WORK in all courts, court offices, divisions, sections and units, including in SC during this period. Work that can be performed in the residence shall proceed.
  • All hearings nationwide are suspended, except on urgent matters, such as those in relation to bail, habeas corpus, promulgations of judgments of acquittals, reliefs for those who may be arrested and detained, and other related actions that may be filed in relation to measures to address the declared national health emergency.
  • The filing of petitions and appeals, complaints, motions, pleadings and other court submissions that fall due during the period from 15 March 2020 until 15 April 2020 is EXTENDED for THIRTY (30) calendar days counted from 16 April 2020. Those who prefer to file may do so by facsimile or through electronic means, if available.
  • All court actions which are NOT considered urgent are likewise SUSPENDED and shall be rescheduled. For court actions with prescribed periods, these periods shall likewise be EXTENDED for 30 calendar days from 16 April 2020.
  • All official meetings including BAC meetings, RTDs, FGDs, seminars, trainings, conventions, and functions shall be deferred, except those called or authorized by the Chief Justice or by the Judiciary Task Force on Coronavirus.

 

2. Will BIR adjust its deadlines?

2.a. Income Tax

On 19 March 2020, the BIR issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (“RMC”) No. 28-2020, which extends the deadline for the filing of the Annual Income Tax Return (“AITR”) to 15 May 2020, without the imposition of penalties. RMC 28-2020, in effect amends RMC No. 25-2020, issued on 18 March 2020 with respect to the AITR filing deadline. (Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 28-2020 dated 18 March 2020)

Despite the amendment, RMC No. 25-2020 still applies with respect to the following:

  1. Online payment option via GCash, PayMaya, Unionbank, DBP and Landbank.
  2. Taxpayers are allowed to submit attachments to their AITRs, as well as to amend their AITRs without imposition of penalties for deficiency taxes, until 15 June 2020. (Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 25-2020 dated 16 March 2020)

The 15 June 2020 deadline falls fifteen (15) days prior to the deadline imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the filing of Annual Reports and Audited Financial Statements for the period ended 31 December 2019.

2.b. VAT, Percentage Tax, Withholding Tax and DST

Pursuant to RMC No. 29-2020, issued on 19 March, thus amending RMC No. 26-2020, issued on 17 March 2020, the following are the new due dates for the filing of various taxes:

BIR Forms / ReturnsNEW Due Date
● Filing and payment of 2550M – Monthly VAT for non-eFPS filers
● eFiling / Filing and ePay / Remittance of 1600WP – Monthly
Remittance of Percentage Tax on Winnings and Prizes Withheld by
Race Track Operators
20 April 2020
● eFiling / Filing and ePayment / Payment of 2550Q – Quarterly
VAT Declaration (Cumulative for 3 months) for eFPS and  non-eFPS
27 April 2020
● eFiling / Filing and ePayment / Payment of 1702Q – Quarterly
Income Tax Returns for Corporation, Partnerships and
Other Non-Individual Taxpayers
30 April 2020
● eFiling / Filing and ePayment / Payment of 2000 (DST) &
2000-OT (One Time Transaction)
05 May 2020
● eFiling / Filing and ePayment / Payment of 1600 with Monthly
Alphalist of Payees and 1606
● eFiling / Filing and ePayment / Payment of 1600 and 1601C –
Withholding Tax Remittance Return for National Government
Agencies (NGAs)
● Filing and Payment / Remittance of 1601C – non-eFPS Filers
● Filing and Payment / Remittance of 2200M Excise Tax Return for
the amount of Excise taxes collected from payment to sales
of metallic minerals
11 May 2020

 

2.c. VAT Refund Application

On 18 March 2020, the BIR likewise issued RMC No. 27-2020, extending the deadline for the filing of applications for VAT refund and 90 day processing period. Hence the filing of VAT refund application covering the quarter ending 31 March 2018 can still be accepted until 30 April 2020.

(Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 25-2020 dated 16 March 2020)

3. How will the filing of AITR be done?

To limit taxpayers’ exposure to persons who may be carriers or infected with the virus, taxpayers who are not mandated to use the electronic filing facilities of the BIR [e.g. Electronic Filing Payment System (EFPS), eBIRForm Facility] are encouraged to use them nonetheless.

The filing of tax returns manually can still be done by those who are not mandated to file and pay electronically, if the AITR to be filed has tax due and payable. If there is no tax to be paid, the same are expected to be filed through eBIRForm facilities.

(Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 25-2020 dated 16 March 2020)

4. What are the mandatory disclosure requirements for companies?

Publicly listed companies are mandated to disclose pursuant to Section 17 of the Securities Regulation Code (using PSE EDGE not later than 12 noon of 16 March 2020), the following: risks and impact of Coronavirus on their business operation and all measures to mitigate the risks that it will undertake or has undertaken.

http://www.sec.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020Notice_FilingOfCurrentReportSec17SRC.pdf

5. Government extensions

DETAILS OF BENEFITSSOURCE
Quezon City LGUExtension of deadline to
pay business, real
property and transfer
taxes from March 31 to
April 30; even with the
extension, discount to
early taxpayers remain in
effect.
Link
Securities and Exchange
Commission
The Commission grants
the following affected
companies an extension
of time without penalty,within which to submit
the Annual Reports
and/or AFS for the period
ended 31 December
2019:
(i) For companies doing
domestic operations only:
an extension of time until
30 June 2020: and
(ii) For companies with
domestic and foreign
operations: an extension
of time until 30 June 2020
or 60 days from that date
of lifting of travel
restrictions/ban by the
concerned government
authorities, whichever
comes later.
SEC Memorandum
Circular No. 5,
Series of 2020
National Privacy
Commission
Validity of registration of
Personal Information
Controllers and Personal
Information Processors is
extended until 31 August
2020 to make way for a
new automated system to
be launched in July.
Applications for renewal
of registration using new
system will begin on 01
July 2020
Link
Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas
The regulatory relief
measures available to
supervised institutions
that extend loans and
credits to affected
customers include: (i)
exclusion from the past
due loan ratio of loans to
affected borrowers for a
period of one (1) year,
and (ii) staggered booking
of provision for probable
losses over an period of
five (5) years, subject to
prior approval of the BSP
Link
Insurance CommissionSubmission of regular
reportorial requirements
falling within the
Community Quarantine
Period shall be extended
for a period of 30 days
from due date. All
documentary
requirements which are
not considered as regular
reports shall be
submitted on due date
originally indicated,
unless the Insurance
Commissioner grants an
extension for such
submission upon a
written request.
Link
National Bureau of
Investigation
Temporary suspension of all
clearance processing
operations nationwide, from
12;00 AM of 18 March 2020
until 12:00 AM of 13 April
2020. Operations to resume
on 13 April 2020, unless
earlier lifted,
Link
National Labor Relations
Commission
All mandatory conciliation
and mediation are
considered TERMINATED
and parties are mandated to
FILE POSITION PAPERS one
(1) month from the date of
their scheduled conference;
All other hearings, including
SEnA conferences ,are reset
one (1) month from date of
scheduled hearing.
NLRC COVID-19
Advisory No. 2
All CourtsThe filing of petitions and
appeals, complaints,
motions, pleadings and
other court submissions
that fall due during the
period from 15 March
2020 until 15 April 2020 is
EXTENDED for THIRTY
(30) calendar days
counted from 16 April
2020. Those who prefer
to file may do so by
facsimile or through
electronic means, if
available.All court actions which
are NOT considered
urgent are likewise
SUSPENDED and shall be
rescheduled. For court
actions with prescribed
periods, these periods
shall likewise be
EXTENDED for 30
calendar days from 16
April 2020.

6. Are the payments of utilities (water, electricity, etc) and bank amortizations suspended during this period?

COMPANYDETAILS OF BENEFITSSOURCE
Telecommunications/ICT
PLDT Home, PLDT
Enterprise, and Smart &
Sun Postpaid.
Extension of bill payment
period for 30 days
PLDT Fibr subscribers will
be provided a speed
boost – minimum speed
of 25Mbps until April 30,
applicable to residents of
Metro Manila and parts of
Greater Manila – Bulacan,
Cavite, Laguna and Rizal
Globe
Telecommunications
Extension of bill payment
period for another 30
days
CignalPostpaid subscribers will
be given a 30-day
payment extension from
due date.
SkyCable and internet
service
Extension of bill payment
period for another 30
days. Access your account
information and ways to
pay bills worry-free at
home via MySKY.com.ph
or by downloading the
MySKY app.
ConvergeDisconnection of
delinquent accounts due
to nonpayment will be
suspended while
quarantine is in place
Utilities
MERALCOExtension of bill payment
period for another 30
days for bills due from
March 1 to April 14, 2020.
Maintenance activities
have also been
postponed to ensure
continuous service.
MayniladDisconnection of overdue
accounts suspended until
April 14. For payments,
clients are encouraged to
pay thru online banking
or mobile fund transfer
like PayMaya
PrimewaterFor all water bills due
from March 17 to 31,
payment extension of
30-days from due date
Manila Water30-day extension from
due date for clients to pay
the water bill.
Payment through online
channels are encouraged,
such as GCash or
PayMaya.
Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions
RCBC BankardAuto, home, personal and
salary clients in good
standing with due dates
from March 15 to April 15
can delay payments by 30
days.
Cardholders in good
standing and with due
dates from March 16 to
April 15 can skip their due
dates and make a
payment 30 days after.
Link
EastWest BankPayment due dates for
auto, personal, mortgage,
and EEL loans, and credit
cards shall be extended
by 30 days for eligible
customers. An email or
sms advice will be sent to
customers who will
qualify under this
payment extension
program.
Home CreditOffers payment
extensions and fee
waivers for those
affected.
Call 02-7753-5712 or
email
[email protected]
the subject COVID HELP
and fill in survey form
PRULife UKEffective immediately, a
longer grace period from
the standard 31 days to
60 days applies for all
premium payments with
due dates from March 16
until April 30.
All payments within the
extended grace period
will be accepted with no
interest charges
SunLifeGrace period for premium
payments is extended to
91 days. This extension is
applicable for policies or
pre-need plans with due
dates falling between Feb.
15 to May 31, 2020.
Soft copies of
requirements related to
any insurance claims will
be accepted until further
notice.
FWD InsuranceAdditional coverage to
FWD customers, with
eligible and active plans
at no cost, COVID-19
benefit of P100,000 upon
diagnosis; funeral benefit
of P50,000Payment grace period
extended up to 90 days
and claims paid within 48
hours
CardMRIMoratorium of payments
from March 17 to April
12, 2020
St. Peter Life Plan30-day period
moratorium on all Life
Plan payments during the
Enhanced Community
Quarantine period.
PhilamlifeAdditional 30 days grace
period for a total of 60
DAYS for policies with due
dates from March 1 to
May 31, 2020
BDO Unibank60-day payment
extension for qualified
credit card, auto loan,
home loan, personal loan
and SME loan with due
dates of up to April 15.
Link
BPI30-day grace period will
be given to qualified
customers for credit card
and other types of loans
“to help ease the burden
during these trying
times”. Terms and
conditions of the
program will be emailed
to eligible clients.
BPI
Security BankPayments for credit card,
home, personal, auto,
business mortgage or
business express loans
are extended by 30 days
for qualified customers.Eligible customers are
those with current
payment status and with
a payment due date of
March 16 to April 14.For credit cards, waivers
of finance charges are on
a case-by-case basis. Late
payment fees will be
waived.
Link
Union BankQualified customers will
be given a 30-day
payment extension from
the original due date with
no late feesFees for Instapay
transactions are also
waived until April 14
Link
Metrobank Card“Qualified” home loan,
car loan and credit card
holders will get a 30-day
grace period and will be
notified by email.
Link
Robinsons BankCustomers of “good
standing” get a grace
period for credit card,
home loan, auto loan and
motorcycle loan
payments due from
March 16 to April 15
Link
CIMBDue date for personal
loan repayment set on
April 1 is moved to May 1
with no additional or late
fees
Link
PSBANKQualified auto, home and
personal loan clients get
a 30-day grace period on
payments
Link
Others
K Servico Trade, Inc.1 month payment holiday
of monthly installment
without penalty charges.
Ayala Corp.Rent-free period for malls
that are not allowed to
operate during the
community quarantine from
March 16 to April 14
Link
Robinsons Land Corp.Waiver of rental charges for
all non-operational tenants
of its various malls during
the period during which the
mall is closed because of the
Luzon-wide community
quarantine
Link
SM SupermallsWaiver of rental payments
of all of tenants nationwide
from March 16 to April 14
Link

 

F. FAQs on Privacy in Reporting of Personal Data for Contact Tracing Purposes

1. What type of information can be collected for contact tracing purposes?

Only pertinent information necessary in facilitating contact tracing should be collected, such as but not limited to: travel history, and frequented locations. Likewise, the only information required to enable contact tracing shall be disclosed to the public.

Note, also that the Data Privacy Act should not prevent the government, especially public health entities from processing personal and sensitive personal information when necessary to fulfill their mandate during a public health emergency.

(source: Statement by Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro on the Declaration of Public Health Emergency in Relation to Coronavirus at https://www.privacy.gov.ph/2020/03/statement-by-privacy-commissioner-raymund-enriquez-liboro-on-the-declaration-of-public-health-emergency-in-relation-to-covid-19/)​

2. What considerations should be applied in disclosing personal information of PUIs and PUMs?

In line with global best practices, a balance needs to be weighed between (1) potential harm or distress to the patient arising from the disclosure and (2) potential damage to trust in doctors and the health institution vis-a-vis (1) potential harm to the public, if the information is not disclosed, and (2) potential benefits to individuals and society arising from the release of information.

(source: Statement by Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro on the Declaration of Public Health Emergency in Relation to Coronavirus at https://www.privacy.gov.ph/2020/03/statement-by-privacy-commissioner-raymund-enriquez-liboro-on-the-declaration-of-public-health-emergency-in-relation-to-covid-19/)​

3. Is there basis for the collection of the name and travel history of PUIs and PUMs, even without their consent?

Personal data, such as the name, travel history and frequented locations of a data subject (i.e., a PUI or a PUM), can be processed, even without his consent, in accordance with Section 12(e) of the Data Privacy Act (“DPA”), considering that such information can be deemed necessary to respond to national emergency and to comply with requirements of public order and safety.

Section 6 of Republic Act No. 11332 (Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act or RA No. 11332) also requires the implementation of verification and contact tracing, and other activities which control further spread or prevent re-occurrence of outbreaks, epidemics and the like. Data collection, analysis and sharing of information from official disease surveillance systems by authorized DOH personnel and local counterparts are also exempt from the Data Privacy Act as regards access to data.

4. Is there basis for the collection of the medical history of PUIs, even without my consent?

The medical history of a PUI and a PUM, which are considered as Sensitive Personal Information under Section 3(l) the DPA, can be processed under Section13(e) of the DPA, considering that the processing is necessary to respond to a national emergency and comply with requirements of public safety.

5. Who can process personal data for contact tracing purposes?

All public and private physicians, allied medical personnel, professional societies, hospitals, clinics, health facilities, laboratories, institutions, workplaces, schools, prisons, ports, airports, establishments, communities, other government agencies, and NGOs can process personal data of PUIs and PUMs for contact tracing purposes, pursuant to their duty to report the same under Section 6(c) of RA No. 11332.

6. What should an employer do in case government officials request for the identity and other personal information of employees who are PUIs?

  1. Seek for a formal document-request listing the personal data being requested indicating the reasons for the request and signed by the Head of Agency asking for the information;
  2. Information to be provided should be limited to the minimum extent necessary aligned with the purpose of the request;
  3. Indicate in the letter-response the employer’s expectation that the information will be used only for the purpose for which it was requested

7. What are prohibited acts of PUIs/PUMs in relation to the reporting of information for contact tracing purposes?

Section 9 of RA No. 11332 prohibits the tampering of records or intentionally providing misinformation; as well as the non-cooperation of the person or entities identified as having the notifiable disease, or affected by the health event of public concern.

Any person or entity that misinforms or refuses to cooperate with reportorial requirements shall be penalized with a fine ranging from Php20,000 to Php50,000 and/or imprisonment ranging from one (1) to six (6) months, at the discretion of the proper court.

 

G. Coronavirus Government Directory

Area of Concern Contact Information Contact Information
Coronavirus NATIONAL EMERGENCY HOTLINE
Individuals who are
experiencing symptoms
consistent with Covid-19
are encouraged to contact
the hotline and seek
further instructions
(02) 894-COVID
(02) 89426843
1555
(for PLDT, SMART, SUN,
TNT Subscribers)
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Road Sector(02) 7980-2387(0917) 876-8535
(02) 7980-2390(0917) 876-8523
Aviation Sector(02) 7980-2391(0917) 876-8573
(02) 7980-2392(0917) 802-2224
Maritime Sector(02) 7980-2394(0917) 876-8594
BUREAU OF CUSTOMS
BOC Assistance Desk (in
relation to Covid-19
outbreak, importation of
commercial/donated
emergency supplies and/or
relief goods)
(0967) 225-6871
(0917) 832-2954
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT
24/7 Call Center on
questions relating to local
and overseas employment,
right and benefits,
conditions of work, wages,
1349
labor relations, issues and
related concerns on pre
and post-employment of
Filipino workers
DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY
DTI-related concernsHotline 1-384Website: www.dti.gov.ph
Facebook:
@DTI.Philippines
Twitter: @DTIPhilippinesEmail: [email protected]
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Passport Appointment
Concerns
8-234-3488
Passport, Authentication, &
Other Consular Inquiries
8-651-9400
DFA Home Office
(02) 8 834-3000
(02) 8 834-4000
https://consular.dfa.gov.p
h/
DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY​ (BAYANIHAN: ENERGY SERVICES 24/7 HOTLINES)
Energy consumer-related
concerns during the
Enhanced Community
Quarantine period (15
March to 14 April 2020)
(02) 8285-6349
+63927-981-7825
+63945-208-5290
Email:
[email protected]
[email protected]

 

H. Annex: Table of LGU Regulations

Sources can be found ​here​.

COVID-19 FAQ LGU Regulations - Outsource Accelerator
Coronavirus FAQ LGU Regulations

 

I. Coronavirus FAQ Contributors

Instigated and coordinated by Rocky Chan. Thank you to the following contributors:

  • Cristina Montes
  • Eirene Aguila
  • Jan Aliling
  • Karen Jill Espineli
  • Kenneth Sy
  • Kim Baltao-Chandra
  • Lorybeth Baldrias-Serrano
  • Mark Gorriceta
  • Michelle Estor
  • Monica Jimenez-Bigbig
  • Nad Bronce
  • Ninez Maningat
  • Oliver Faustino
  • PM Dizon
  • Rocky Chan
  • Rosa Alia Mendoza-Martelino

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