The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) on Thursday called on building owners or lessors to give considerations to their tenants with their payments and not jack up rent costs amid the unprecedented economic slump brought by the pandemic.
“This is not the time to make money but to survive. Atong tabangan ang mga gagmay’ng negosyante…lisod pud kaayo na usa buhi, usa patay,” said Albert Uy of the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI).
Uy issued the statement during a committee of the whole hearing of the Tagbilaran City Council in line with discussions on the reported increase of rent costs at the government-owned Tagbilaran City Square.
According to Uy, businesses particularly micro, small and medium enterprises which have been bearing the brunt of the recession need the support of the government and the business community.
“Nakita nato na ang negosyo dako g’yud kaayo ang deduction sa imong sales,” he said.
Tenants of the City Square represented by businessman Steven Lim have earlier appealed to the City Council for a moratorium on the increase of rent costs at the establishment.
For his part, Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso acknowledged that business restrictions and limited movement of the public have taken their toll financially on establishments.
According to Veloso, they council will still have to confer with the city’s local finance committee regarding the increase in rental fees.
The City Square which has been leased out to a private group in a 25-year deal has also to keep up with its payments to the city possibly leading to the increase of rent costs, said Veloso.
“Ang City Square they have a minimum rental sa atong government based on the contract that is P5 million a year or 20 percent of the gross income annually, whichever is higher. With that, if naay uban tenants na mi stop operation sa ilang business so definitely ilang income mo lower down pud,” he said.
Lim and tenants of the City Square have communicated with the manager of the establishment but the effort was reportedly ignored.
“As mentioned by Mr. Steven Lim upat na ka letter addressed to the manager of City Square and their letter was just ignored kay matud pa sa mga representatives sa City Square cannot communicate English,” he said.
The City Council intends to conduct further discussions regarding the issue, although City Square management has been a no-show in two previous hearings. (A. Doydora)