SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) announced it has extended the payment period for business locators with overdue accounts.
The order gives the locators in this premier free port more time to settle payments and help them weather the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBMA Chairman and Administrator Willma Eisma said the agency recently approved the Economic Relief Assistance (ERA) payment scheme that would allow a longer amortization period for bills that had remained unpaid since the pandemic hit in March last year.
“With this ERA scheme, Subic locators can amortize their bills for up to 24 months, or ever more than 36 months, at a fraction of the usual interest and at diminishing rates,” Eisma said.
“This is actually just the latest in a series of SBMA board approvals that gave our business community, as well as residents, grace periods and other forms of economic relief to help ease their difficulties during these trying times,” she added.
Under the ERA, companies without arrears before March 2020 could avail of longer payment amortization for unpaid billings from March 2020 onward under three options: up to 24 months amortization, with just one-fourth of 1 percent interest and at 3 percent diminishing rate; over 24 to 26 months amortization, with one-half of 1 percent interest and at 6 percent diminishing rate; or over 36 months amortization, with three-fourths of 1 percent interest and at 9 percent diminishing rate.
On the other hand, those with arrears before March 2020 could avail of a longer amortization period at the following terms: up to 24 months, with one-half of 1 percent interest and at 6 percent diminishing rate; over 24 to 36 months, with three-fourth of 1 percent interest and at 9 percent diminishing rate; or over 36 months, with 1 percent interest and at 12 percent diminishing rate.
Eisma also said the SBMA further sweetened the deal by offering 10 percent upfront payment instead of 20 percent, with 90 percent payable through equal amortization and with the first month amortization due the following month after the upfront payment.
The scheduled repayments should be covered by post-dated checks or deed of undertaking to be submitted on or before January 31.
Guidelines issued by the SBMA for the ERA payment scheme also required locators to submit promissory letters to the Office of the Deputy Administrator (ODA) for Finance, along with their application for the amortization program.