The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP) has committed to enforce Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, which, among others, mandates a nationwide 30-day moratorium on loan payments.

In a press statement on Wednesday night, BAP said it was in close coordination with regulators to ensure the quick turnaround of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of section 4 (aa) of RA 11469.

“As the backbone of the Philippine financial system and economy, we are one with the national government to aid in the recovery and rehabilitation during this time of public health crisis,” the BAP said.

“We trust that the provisions under the IRR are meant to protect the collective interests of our stakeholders. The banking industry and individual banks respect the IRR and will follow the law and its implementing rules in order to achieve its objectives.”

Under the guidelines, all covered institutions must implement a 30-day grace period for all loans with principal and/or interest falling due within the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period “without incurring interest on interest, penalties, fees and other charges.” The initial 30-day grace period will be automatically extended if the government would extend the ECQ period.

The institutions covered by the loan moratorium are banks, quasi-banks, nonstock savings and loan associations, credit card issuers, pawnshops and even state-owned housing and pension funds.

On postdated checks issued by borrowers to cover loan payments during the moratorium—currently a gray area in the implementing rules—a BAP source told the Inquirer that these would be covered by the moratorium as well. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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