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MFBR lawyers and associates care!

In light of the constantly changing social and economic landscape in the world due to COVID-19, everyone at Mallari Fiel Brillante Ronquillo has taken steps to make good our steadfast commitment to serve our clients and our communities.

To this end, we designed a new business model incorporating the traditional “brick and mortar” and “virtual” law offices. This new model is to achieve the continuity of rendering our legal and business consultancy services to clients and friends, and the immediate implementation of our crisis management and business transformation activities.

Thus, we’re glad to announce that for every fortnight, half of our team will be physically present at our offices from Monday thru Friday, 8:00am to 3:00pm. Clients and our friends can reach us through our office phones and online platforms (website, emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, Zoom, etc.). And to ensure the health and safety of our staff, they have the option to be housed in the Firm’s private residence or shuttled back and forth using the company’s private vehicle. Safety protocols are also observed at our offices.

Finally, our team has prepared a series of materials around the impact of COVID-19 and related considerations. Please take time to view our sample articles and research published in our website. A complete listing and discussion of these articles are available in our newsletter to be distributed to our esteemed clients.

Should you have questions, please reach out to our Office Manager, Argie Macawile, at +632 86953395, +63977 8502357; or email our Managing Partner, Atty. Rob Mallari, at mfl@mflegal.com.ph and rpmallari@mflegal.com.ph.

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  • R.A. NO. 11469: BAYANIHAN TO HEAL AS ONE ACT

R.A. NO. 11469: BAYANIHAN TO HEAL AS ONE ACT

Due to the rapid growth of coronavirus cases in the Philippines resulting in the declaration of a state of national emergency in the Philippines, Republic Act No. 11469 (R.A. 11469), known as ‘Bayanihan to Heal As One Act’, was approved by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on 24 March 2020.

Effectivity[1]:

  • It shall take effect immediately upon publication in a newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.

Duration[2]:

  • 3 months, unless extended by Congress.
  • The Congress may withdraw the powers granted sooner by:
  •  a. concurrent resolution of Congress; or
  •  b. Presidential Proclamation.

Powers of the President[3]:

  1. Adopt and implement measures to prevent or suppress further transmission and spread of COVID-19 through effective education, detection, protection, and treatment;
  2. Expedite and streamline the accreditation of testing kits and facilitate prompt testing by public and designated private institutions, and compulsory and immediate isolation and treatment of patients. The cost of treatment shall be covered under the National Health Insurance Program of PhilHealth;
  3. Provide an emergency subsidy: Php 5,000.00 to Php 8,000.00 a month, for 2 months, to around 18 million low income households;
  4. Provide all public health workers with a ‘COVID-19 special risk allowance’, in addition to the hazard pay;
  5. Direct PhilHealth to shoulder all medical expenses of public and private health workers in case of exposure to COVID-19 or any work-related injury or disease during the duration of the emergency;
  6. Provide compensation to public and private health workers if:

a. they contract severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty: P100,000.00; or

b.  they died: Php 1,000,000.00

  • Ensure that all LGUs are:
    • Acting within the letter and spirit of all the rules, regulations and directives issued by the National Government pursuant to this Act;
    • Implementing standards of Community Quarantine;
    • Fully cooperating towards a unified, cohesive, and orderly implementation of the national policy to address COVID-19;
    • Authorized to utilize more than 5% of the amount allocated for their calamity fund subject to additional funding and support from the National Government.
  • Direct the operation of:
    • any privately-owned hospitals and medical and health facilities including passenger vessels, and other establishments, to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, quarantine centers, medical relief and aid distribution locations, or other temporary medical facilities; and
    • public transportation to ferry health, emergency, and frontline personnel and other persons when public interest so requires.
  • Continue to enforce measures to protect the people from hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations, manipulation of prices, product deceptions, and cartels, monopolies or other combinations in restraint of trade, or other pernicious practices;
  • Ensure that donation, acceptance and distribution of health products intended to address the COVID-19 public health emergency are not unnecessarily delayed and that health products for donation duly certified or accredited shall automatically be cleared;
  • Undertake the procurement of goods, which include personal protective equipment (PPEs), medical equipment and devices, medical supplies, testing kits, and such other supplies or equipment as may be determined by the DOH and other relevant government agencies;
  • Partner with the Philippine Red Cross, in giving aid to the people, subject to reimbursement, in the distribution of goods and services;
  • Engage temporary Human Resources for Health to:
    • complement or supplement the current health workforce; or
    • man the temporary medical facilities.
  •  Ensure the availability of credit to the productive sectors of the economy through various measures;
  • Liberalize the grant of incentives for the manufacture or importation of critical or needed equipment or supplies for the carrying-out of the policy. Said importation shall be exempt from import duties, taxes, and other fees;
  • Ensure the availability of essential goods (food and medicine), by adopting measures to facilitate and/or minimize disruption to the supply chain;
  • Require businesses to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services necessary for this policy;
  • Regulate and limit the operation of all sectors of transportation;
  • Regulate traffic on all roads, prohibit putting up of encroachments or obstacles, authorize the removal of such in public places, and perform all other related acts;
  • Continue to authorize alternative working arrangements for employees and workers in the Executive Branch, independent branches of government, constitutional bodies, and the private sector;
  • Conserve and regulate the distribution and use of power, fuel, energy, and water, and ensure adequate supply of the same;
  • Direct the discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects, or activities of any agencies, and utilize the savings generated to augment the allocation for any item directly related to support operations and response measures, which are necessary or beneficial in this emergency;
  • Utilize and appropriate all unspent, unutilized, or unreleased balance in the special purpose fund for addressing the COVID-19 emergency;
  • Reprogram, reallocate, and realign from savings on other items of appropriations in the Executive Department, to fund measures that address and respond to the COVID-19 emergency;
  • Allocate cash, funds, investments, including unutilized or unreleased subsidies and transfers, held by any GOCC or any national government agency to address the COVID-19 emergency;
  • Move statutory deadlines and timelines for the filing and submission of any documents, the payment of taxes, fees, and other charges required by law, and the grant of any benefit, in order to ease the burden on individuals under Community Quarantine;
  • Direct all banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies, and other financial institutions, including GSIS, SSS, and Pag-Ibig, to implement a minimum of a 30-day grace period for the payment of all loans, falling due within the period of the ECQ, without interests, penalties, fees, or other charges;
  • Provide for a minimum of 30-days as grace period on residential rents falling due within the period of the enhanced community quarantine, without interests, penalties, fees, and other charges;
  • Implement an expanded and enhanced Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program, responsive to the need posed by the crisis, and provision of an assistance program, whether in cash or non-cash, to households, who have no incomes or savings to draw from;
  • Lift the 30% cap on the amount appropriated for the quick response fund during the existence of the state of national emergency due to COVID-19;
  • Undertake such other measures as may be reasonable and necessary to carry out the declared national policy subject to the Bill of Rights and other constitutional guarantees.

Report to Congress and Creation of Oversight Committee.[4]

What: Weekly Report;

Who shall report: The President of the Philippines;

When shall he/she report: During Monday of every week;

To whom shall he/she report: Congress; and

What are the contents of the Report:

  1. All acts performed during the immediately preceding week.
  2. Amount and corresponding utilization of funds used, augmented, reprogrammed, reallocated and realigned pursuant to the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

For this purpose, the Congress shall establish a Joint Congressional Oversight Committee composed of four (4) members of each house to be appointed by the Senate President and House Speaker, respectively. This Committee shall determine whether such acts, orders, rules and regulations are within the restrictions provided herein.

Penalties:[5]

Should the individual commit any of the punishable acts under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, they shall be punished as follows:

  1. Imprisonment of 2 months;
    1. Fine of not less than P10,000.00 but not more than P1,000,000.00; or
    1. Imprisonment and Fine.

Punishable acts:[6]

  1. LGU officials disobeying national government policies or directives in imposing quarantines;
    1. Owners and possessors of privately-owned hospitals, medical facilities, including passenger vessels, and other establishments who unjustifiably refuse to operate pursuant to the directive of the President;
    1. Engaging in hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations, manipulation of prices, product deceptions, and cartels, monopolies or other combinations in restraint of trade, or other pernicious prices affecting the supply, distribution and movement of food, clothing, hygiene and sanitation products, medicine and medical supplies, fuel, fertilizers, chemicals, building materials, implements, and machinery equipment and spare parts required in agriculture, industry and other essential services, and other articles of prime necessity, whether imported or locally produced or manufactured;
    1. Refusal to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services necessary to promote the herein declared national policy;
    1. Refusal to provide 30-day grace period in the payment of loans and residential lease under Section 4;
    1. Individuals or groups creating, perpetrating, or spreading false information regarding the COVID-19 crisis on social medial and other platforms, such information having no valid or beneficial effect on the population, and are clearly geared to promote chaos, panic, anarchy, fear, or confusion; and those participating in cyber incidents that make use or advantage of the current crisis situation to prey on the public through scams, phishing, fraudulent emails, or other similar acts;
    1. Failure to comply with reasonable limitations on the operation of certain transportation sectors or sectors, whether land, sea or air, be it private or public, and
    1. Impeding access to roads, streets and bridges; putting-up prohibited encroachments or obstacles and maintenance of illegal constructions in public places that have been ordered removed;

If the offender is a corporation, association, partnership or any other juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the president, directors, managers, managing partners, as the case may be, who participated in the commission of the offense or who shall have knowingly permitted or failed to prevent the commission of the same.

If the offender is an alien, he shall, in addition to the penalties herein prescribed, be deported without further proceedings.

If the offender is a public official or employee, he shall, in addition to penalties prescribed herein, suffer perpetual or temporary absolute disqualification from office, as the case may be.


[1] Section 9 of R.A. 11469

[2] Section 9 of R.A. 11469

[3] Section 4 of R.A. 11469

[4]Section 5, RA 11469

[5]Section 6, RA 11469

[6] Ibid.

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