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Philippines orders mall owners to waive rent of stores affected by COVID-19 quarantine

The Philippine government has limited mall operations to establishments offering basic goods, ordering operators of shuttered shops to waive rent during the month-long community quarantine.

Under Memorandum Circular 20-04 of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), mall operations are now limited to those offering basic necessities.

This includes groceries and supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, health clinics, bookstores, hardware stores, and food stalls which provide take out and delivery only.

Business process outsourcing (BPO) offices inside malls are likewise allowed to operate.

The latest memorandum is in line with the community quarantine on Metro Manila ordered by President Rodrigo Duterte last week, preventing the entry and exit of non-essential travels to and from the National Capital Region from March 15 to April 14.

Mall operators such as Ayala Malls, SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, and Powerplant have since announced their temporary closure during the period.

"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, as a result of this Memorandum Circular," it read. -NB, GMA News