Pursuant to an announcement made by the Philippine President on April 24, 2020, the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over places considered to be COVID-19 high-risk areas, such as Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Cebu, and Davao City, is extended until May 15. The categorization of Tarlac, Zambales, Cebu, and Davao City as high-risk areas will “be reviewed and may change before April 30.”  Prior to this announcement, the ECQ over Metro Manila was scheduled to end on April 30, 2020. 
Moderate and low-risk areas will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1, and the GCQ “may be lifted by May 15, should no change in the risk-level occur.” 
For places under the GCQ, the general population will still be prohibited from leaving their homes except for purchasing basic necessities. Local Government Units (LGUs) are also instructed to impose a “night curfew for non-workers.” Aside from providers of essential services which are allowed to operate even during the ECQ, additional businesses are allowed to operate during GCQ, namely: (i) low-risk industries, but their operation must be in phases, (ii) “non-leisure stores” in malls, (iii) airports and sea ports “only to ensure the unhampered flow of goods,” and (iv) public transportation “at a reduced capacity.” In addition, “[u]niversities and colleges can finish the academic year and issue credentials to students” and “[p]riority and essential construction projects may [also] resume.” 
Note: All the issuances discussed below were issued before the announcement of the extension of the ECQ until May 15 over high-risk areas.
a. The Secretary of Finance had previously extended the deadlines for the filing and payment of internal revenue taxes by issuing Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 10-2020. In relation to the extension of the ECQ over high-risk areas (please see item A above), RR No. 10-2020 provides that if the ECQ period will be further extended, the filing and submission of documents and payment of taxes falling within the “enhanced extended period” shall be extended “for 30 calendar days from the lifting of the ECQ.”
For more information on RR No. 10-2020, see our bulletin dated April 19, 2020. 
b. The BIR has issued Revenue Memorandum Circular (RMC) No. 42-2020 (Guidelines in the Filing and Payment of Income Tax Returns for Taxable Year 2019) dated April 6, 2020  to consolidate filing and payment instructions for 2019 Annual Income Tax Returns via both online and offline channels. These instructions are found in Annex A of the RMC. 
c. RMC No. 43-2020 (Acceptance of Payment of Internal Revenue Taxes During the Enhanced Community Quarantine) dated April 15, 2020  prescribes guidelines on the place and mode of payment of internal revenue taxes during the ECQ.
(i) This RMC allows taxpayers to pay internal revenue taxes at “the nearest authorized agent bank (AAB), notwithstanding Revenue District Office (RDO) jurisdiction” or “the concerned Revenue Collection Officers (RCO) of the nearest RDO, even in areas where there are AABs,” provided that:
- cash payments shall not exceed Php 20,000; and
- check payments made “with the RCO in the district office during the ECQ period will have no limitation.”
(ii) RMC No. 43-2020 further provides that all checks “shall be made payable to the Bureau of Internal Revenue” and that “the name of the receiving AAB branch may no longer be indicated in the check for tax payment.”
2. Issuance of Value-added Tax (VAT) Certificates (VCs) and VAT Identification Cards to Resident Foreign Missions (RFMs)
The BIR has issued RMC No. 44-2020 (Issuance of Temporary Electronic Copies of VAT Certificates (VCs) and VAT Identification Cards (VICs) Due to the Implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)) dated April 17, 2020  to provide temporary relief to “Resident Foreign Missions,  RFM personnel, and dependents who will apply for renewal of expired VCs and VICs during the ECQ.” It specifically provides the following:
a. The BIR “shall temporarily issue electronic copies of VCs and VIC” which shall be valid “until August 30, 2020,” and the issued electronic copies of VCs and VICs “shall be renewed within 30 calendar days from the lifting of the ECQ following the procedures under Revenue Memorandum Order No. 10-2019.”
b. All business establishments “shall grant a point-of-sale VAT exemption” upon presentation by the RFM personnel and their dependents of “the electronic copies of VCs and VICs and his/her DFA-issued electronic copy of Certification of Accreditation or a valid DFA Protocol ID.”
The authorized representative of the RFM has to present “the VC issued to the RFM, his/her Identification Card and Special Power of Attorney or authorization letter” upon each purchase.
For more information about tax issuances, please contact your account partner or the author of this client bulletin:
The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has issued IPOPHL Memorandum Circular No. 2020-010(Advisory on Deadline for the Filing of Written Third Party Observation (TPO) for Invention Applications and Adverse Information (AI) for Utility Model and Industrial Design Applications, for Personal Protective Equipment, Medical/Health Care Equipment/Devices, and Pharmaceutical Products).
The Advisory provides the following, among others:
a. The filing of a written Third Party Observation (TPO) for invention applications published from 21 April 2020 onwards (for PPE, medical/health care equipment/devices, and pharmaceutical products) shall be six months from publication date.
b. The filing of a written Adverse Information (AI) on utility model and industrial design applications published from 21 April 2020 onwards (for PPE, medical/health care equipment/devices, and pharmaceutical products) shall be 30 days from publication date.
c. “For applications where the deadline for filing of the TPO or AI falls within 16 March 2020 until 21 April 2020, the deadline shall be on May 11, 2020. For those with deadlines falling due from 22 April 2020 until 30 April 2020, an extension period of fifteen (15) calendar days shall be given from the due date prescribed under Rule 803 and Rule 1701.”
d. “The requirement on verification shall be waived for the purpose of submitting/filing the Adverse Information pursuant to Rule 1701 but must be submitted within five (5) working days once IPOPHL resumes normal operations. However, required evidence and supporting documents pursuant to Rule 803 and Rule 1701 must be included in the TPO or AI to be submitted/filed for these to be given due course.”
e. “For the duration of the ECQ, written TPO and AI may be submitted/filed through email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the required evidence and supporting documents. Once IPOPHL resumes operation, the prescribed manner of submission under the Rules shall be observed.”
The IPOPHL requires email submissions to use the following template:
(i) Third Party Observation for Invention Applications
Subject of the Email: Third Party Observation
Re: Application No.__________
(ii) Adverse Information for Utility Model/Industrial Design Applications
Subject of the Email: Adverse Information
Re: Application No.__________
“The full name of the party submitting/filing the TPO and AI must be indicated with full contact details including complete office or residential address, mobile number or telephone number.”
For more information about IPOPHL issuances, please contact your account partner or the author of this client bulletin:
1. SEC Provides an Alternative Mode for Distribution of Notices and Other Documents for Annual Stockholders’ Meeting (ASM) (SEC Notice dated April 20, 2020) 
The SEC’s Notice (Alternative Mode for Distributing and Providing Copies of the Notice of Meeting, Information Statement, and Other Documents in Connection with the Holding of Annual Stockholders’ Meeting (ASM) for 2020) dated April 20, 2020 provides “all publicly-listed companies (PLC) and other companies with registered securities under the Marketing and Securities Registration Division’s supervision (collectively, “Concerned Companies”)” an alternative mode of complying with the requirements to conduct the ASM for 2020. It specifically provides the following:
a. Concerned Companies that will hold ASM for 2020 may notify their stockholders by publishing the Notice of Meeting, which should contain the following:
(i) “Date, time and place of meeting and other information as may be required under the Revised Corporation Code, other issuances of the [SEC] or By-laws of the Corporation;” and
(ii) “The availability of an electronic copy of the Information Statement and Management Report and SEC Form 17A and other pertinent documents” in both the company’s website and PSE Edge.
b. The Notice of Meeting “shall be published in the business section of two newspapers of general circulation, in print and online format, for two consecutive days, provided that the last print and on-line publication of the Notice of Meeting shall be made “no later than 21 days prior to the scheduled ASM.”
2. SEC Extends the Deadline for the Submission of the Integrated Annual Corporate Governance Report (SEC Notice dated April 22, 2020) 
This Notice advises publicly-listed companies that the deadline for the filing of the Integrated Annual Corporate Governance Report is extended to July 30, 2020, “in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on the business sector.”
1. Grant of 30-day Grace Period for Loans (BSP Memorandum No. M-2020-028 (Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) II on the Implementing Rules (IRR) of Section 4(aa) of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 11469, Otherwise Known as the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act”) dated April 22, 2020) 
The BSP has issued this memorandum to supplement Memorandum No. 2020-018 and to guide BSP-supervised Financial Institutions (BSFIs) in granting grace periods for loans pursuant to Section 4(aa) of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act(Bayanihan Act).  It specifically provides the following:
a. All covered institutions “shall implement a 30-day grace period for all loan payments with principal and interest falling due within the extended ECQ period (or from April 13 to 30, 2020).” Lending institutions shall grant an additional 30-day grace period for “loan accounts that qualified for an initial 30-day grace period and the new due date falling within the extended ECQ period.”
b. The mandatory grace period shall apply to loans “extended by all covered financial institutions irrespective of their place of operation.”
c. This memorandum also addresses questions on the scope of the loans covered by the grant of a grace period and the payment of interest accrued during the grace period.
2. Waiver of Transaction Fees for PhilPaSS (BSP Memorandum No. M-2020-027 (Temporary Relief Measure on the Transactions with PhilPaSS During the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) Period under the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) Situation) dated April 21, 2020) 
This memorandum provides for the waiver of the transaction fees charged for “fund transfer instructions made with the Philippine Payment and Settlement System (PhilPaSS)” from April 1, 2020 until “the end of the ECQ over Metro Manila on April 30, 2020.”
The ERC has issued an Advisory dated April 15, 2020 , implementing the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advisory on the grant of a grace period for the payment of electric bills. The ERC Advisory directs Distribution Utilities (DUs) and Retail Electricity Suppliers (RES) to defer the demand for payment of electric bills falling due within the ECQ period (i.e., March 16 to April 30, 2020) “without interest, penalties, fees, and other charges.”
The cumulative electric bills due within the ECQ period are to “be amortized in 4 equal monthly installments, payable in the 4 succeeding billing months following the end of the ECQ. This shall be reflected as a separate item in the electricity bill due on those succeeding months, provided that the first billing due date following the ECQ shall be no earlier than May 15, 2020.” A sample computation of the amortized payments of the deferred bill is set out in the Advisory.
The Advisory also provides for the suspension of collection of the Feed-In Tariff Allowance “for another billing period to be implemented on the next electricity bill to be issued by the Collection Agents.”
The April 15, 2020 Advisory supersedes the March 26, 2020 Advisory. 
On the Extension of Periods for Certain Filings and Payments
Office of the President (OP)
Directing All Government Offices to Formulate and Issue Guidelines on the Interruption of Periods for the Filing of Documents, Payment of Taxes, Charges and Other Fees, and Cancellation of Proceedings Before Their Respective Offices, and on the Movement of Timelines for the Release of Benefits (Administrative Order No. 30-2020 dated April 21, 2020) 
This issuance directs government offices to issue guidelines pertaining to the extension, interruption or movement of the periods and timelines for the filing of documents, conduct of proceedings, payment of taxes, fees, and other charges, and the grant of benefits and claims.
This directive applies only to areas in the Philippines which have been placed under community quarantine.
National Water Resources Board (NWRB)
Extension of Time for the Payment of Fees/Charges and the Filings of Applications/Petitions to NWRB in Light of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (NWRB Resolution No. 01-0420 dated April 8, 2020) 
The deadlines for (i) the “payment of all Water Permit Annual Water Charges” (ii) fees for “Well Driller Registration,” and (iii) the filing of all Applications/Petitions for Renewal of Certificate of Public Convenience, that fall due between March 15 and June 30, 2020 is extended for six months from their due dates.
Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA)
Extension of Statutory Certificates issued by MARINA and its Recognized Organizations as a Temporary Contingency Measure during the COVID-19 Pandemic (MARINA Advisory No. 2020-25 dated April 9, 2020) 
This advises Philippine registered ships engaged in international trade that the validity of statutory certificates issued by MARINA and its Recognized Organizations is extended until May 31, 2020.
On the Movement of People
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)
RapidPass bulk registration offered to entities exempted from quarantine (Advisory on RapidPass dated April 22, 2020) 
This encourages all authorized frontliners and personnel to apply for a RapidPass, through which accredited individuals may flash at checkpoints their QR codes in order to fast track movement and reduce unnecessary physical contact during the ECQ. RapidPass “shall only cover the National Capital Region.”
“As there is still no issuance on the cancellation of IATF-IDs, all checkpoint personnel should still honor all issued IATF-IDs.”
Other Emergency Measures
Department of Agriculture (DA)
Guidelines on the Expanded Livestock and Poultry Program and Livelihood Project for COVID-19 Response (DA Memorandum Circular No. 12-2020 dated April 20, 2020) 
This issuance sets out the guidelines for the implementation of the DA’s Expanded Livestock and Poultry Production and Livelihood Project in response to the pandemic and it covers the “procurement of animals, distribution of production inputs such as feeds, provision of extension and veterinary services, and monitoring and evaluation of project beneficiaries and recipients.”
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
Guidelines in the Implementation of the Emergency Subsidy Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 9 dated April 9, 2020) 
This prescribes the guidelines for the Emergency Subsidy Program to be “implemented for  months covering the months of April and May 2020” as provided in Section 4(c) of the Bayanihan Act. 
Department of Budget and Management (DBM)
Adoption of Economy Measures in the Government Due to the Emergency Health Situation (DBM National Budget Circular No. 580 dated April 22, 2020) 
This implements Section 4(v) of the Bayanihan Act  by prescribing guidelines for the pooling of government funds for COVID-19 emergency measures through the discontinuance of appropriated programs, activities, or projects (P/A/P). The appropriations covered are those “not expressly earmarked for the implementation of P/A/P addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”
 Bayanihan Act, Section 4(aa). Direct all banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies, and other financial institutions, public and private, including the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System and Pag-ibig Fund, to implement a minimum of a thirty (30)-day grace period for the payment of all loans, including but not limited to salary, personal, housing, and motor vehicle loans, as well as credit card payments, falling due within the period of the enhanced Community Quarantine without incurring interests, penalties, fees, or other charges. Persons with multiple loans shall likewise be given the minimum thirty (30)-day grace period for every loan.  BSP Memorandum No. M-2020-027 dated April 21, 2020; https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pfh5jbaxXeEDclKbJ6tDfV50wqS2DQpQ/view; last visited at 2:50 pm on April 23, 2020.
 Bayanihan Act Section 4 (c). xx xx Provide an emergency subsidy to around 18 million low income households: Provided, That the subsidy shall amount to a minimum of P5,000.00 to a maximum of P8,000.00 a month for 2 months: Provided, further, That the subsidy shall be computed based on the prevailing regional minimum wage rates: Provided, finally, That the subsidy received from the current conditional cash transfer program and rice subsidy shall be taken into consideration in the computation of the emergency subsidy as provided in this Act.
 Bayanihan Act Section 4 (v). Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, direct the discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects or activities (P/A/P) of any agency of the Executive Department, including government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), in the FYs 2019 and 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA), whether released or unreleased, the allotments for which remain unobligated, and utilize the savings generated therefrom to augment the allocation for any item directly related to support operations and response measures, which are necessary or beneficial in order to address the COVID-19 emergency, consistent with the herein declared national policy: Provided, however, That the following items in the budget shall be prioritized for augmentation:
Under the Department of Health — operational budgets of government hospitals, primarily those identified for treatment of COVID-19; prevention and control of other infectious diseases; emergency preparedness and response; quick response fund;
Under the University of the Philippines — the operational budget of the Philippine General hospital;
The National Disaster Risk Reduction Fund or calamity fund;
Programs of the Department of Labor and Employment, such as but not limited to Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers and COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP);
Under the Department of Trade and Industry — Livelihood Seeding Program and Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay;
Under the Department of Agriculture — Rice Farmers Financial Assistance Program;
Under the Department of Education — School-Based Feeding Program;
Under various Department of Social Welfare and Development programs, such as but not limited to Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS), distribution of food and non-food items, livelihood assistance grants, and supplemental feeding program for daycare children;
Under allocations to local government units;
Quick Response Funds lodged in the various relevant departments, such as, but not limited to the DOH and DSWD.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act, the discontinued program, activity or project may be revived at any time after the national emergency has ceased, and notwithstanding Section 67 of Republic Act No. 11465 or the "General Appropriations Act of 2020," may be revived and proposed for funding within the next two (2) fiscal years; xx xx.
A. Philippine Government Declares an Enhanced Community Quarantine over Luzon from March 17, 2020 to April 12, 2020
B. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Confirms that Annual Income Tax Returns are still due on April 15, 2020 (Please note the BIR issuances here were amended on March 19 when the BIR extended the deadlines for tax payments. Our third bulletin covers these issuances.)
C. Supreme Court Extends the Period for Filing of Submissions to Courts for 30 days from April 16
D. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Notices posted on March 17
E. SEC extends period to file Annual, Quarterly Reports and Audited Financial Statements (AFS) until June 30
F. SEC issues Guidelines for Participation via Remote Communication in Meetings of the Board of Directors/Trustees and of the Shareholders/Members
G. Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Extends Deadlines
A. Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Extends Deadlines for the Payment of Various Taxes and for the Filing of Annual Income Tax Returns (AITR), Value-Added Tax (VAT) Refund Applications and Various Other Tax Returns
B. Philippine Government Issues Dos and Don’ts during Enhanced Community Quarantine
C. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Allows the Filing of General Information Sheets (GIS) via Email
A. National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) Temporarily Suspends Work
B. Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Temporarily Suspends Visa Issuance and Visa-Free Privileges in its Foreign Service Posts. All foreign nationals may also leave the country any time during the ECQ.
C. Bureau of Immigration (BI) Temporarily Suspends Transactions in Luzon
A. Republic Act No. 11469, or the “Bayanihan To Heal As One Act,” which authorizes the President to exercise additional powers necessary to address the COVID-19 national emergency, has been enacted
B. Local government authorities place the City of Cebu (from March 28, 2020 to April 28, 2020) and the Province of Cebu (from March 27, 2020 onwards) under a “State of Enhanced Community Quarantine” (as described under the respective issuances)
C. Davao City Mayor places the City of Davao under Community Quarantine from March 26 to April 19
A. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Issues Guidelines on the Filing via Email of General Information Sheets (GIS) and Other Documents
B. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP, the PH Central Bank) Issues Regulations on Submissions via Email of Reports on Foreign Exchange (FX) Transactions
C. Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) Issues Guidelines on its Operations, Extends Deadlines for Filings and Payments, and Suspends Hearings
D. Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Clarifies the Meaning of “Skeletal Workforce”
E. Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) Issues Advisory on Streamlining of Government Services
F. Insurance Commission (IC) Encourages Insurers and HMOs to Extend Coverage Period, and to Grant Grace Periods for the Payment of Premium; Resumes Operations
G. Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Issues Resolutions on the Suspension of Certain Merger Processes and Timelines, and on Interruption of the Reglementary Periods for the Filing of Pleadings, Motions and Submissions and Payment of Fines or Penalties
A. Extension of Periods for the Filing and Submission of Various Documents and Payment of Taxes
B. Mandatory Disclosure of Personal Information of COVID-19 Patients
C. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Issuances
D. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP, the Central Bank of the Philippines) Issuances
E. Insurance Commission (IC) Issuances
F. Other Issuances
Please note that there are other COVID-19 related government issuances which are not covered by our bulletins. For more information about other regulations, please contact your account partner or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This bulletin contains a summary of the items set out above. It was prepared by SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) to update its clients with recent legal developments. This does not constitute legal advice or an opinion of SyCipLaw or any of its lawyers.
This bulletin is only a guide material and SyCipLaw makes no representation in respect of its completeness and accuracy. You should check the official version of the declaration and its implementing rules and regulations.
No portion of this advisory may be copied or reproduced in books, pamphlets, outlines or notes, whether printed, mimeographed, typewritten, copied in different electronic devices or in any other form, for distribution or sale, or reposted or forwarded without the prior written consent of SyCipLaw.
You are receiving this invitation as a client or contact of SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw). If you do not wish to receive event invitations, legal resources, or firm announcements, please click on the unsubscribe link below.
Our mailing address is:
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan
105 Paseo de Roxas
Makati City 1226