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QC Mayor Joy Belmonte says establishments offering loans to poor are exempted from ECQ

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Saturday said establishments that offer microfinancing, loans or credit to residents will be allowed to operate and will be exempted from the enhanced community quarantine in the city.

These include financial institutions supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas such as banks, non-stock savings and loans associations, money exchange/remittance companies, e-money issuers, payment system operators and pawnshops, as well as financial service cooperatives, credit cooperatives and multi-purpose cooperatives providing savings and credit to members as regulated by the Cooperative Development Authority.

Belmonte said this is to ensure the poor and marginalized will have access to loans during the ECQ amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Entities that are duly regulated by governmental authorities to offer loans and credit will be allowed to operate so they can provide assistance to our citizens in need,” she said.

“We believe that this addresses a gap in the rules, which is sorely needed by our less fortunate residents, and we hope the national government feels the same way. The EO [executive order] is pro-poor and gives the poor access to loans that they can't avail from common banks," the mayor said.

Also exempted are other establishments providing micro-financing, loans and other forms of credit to those who are unemployed or earn low income, as long as these are duly regulated by governmental authority.

All these establishments, however, must only have a skeleton workforce and observe social distancing, wearing of face masks, and personal hygiene.

The ECQ in Metro Manila will be in effect until May 15 after President Rodrigo Duterte approved on Friday the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to extend the quarantine period. —KG, GMA News