House ratifies bicam report on new rent control law

May 28, 2009 1:25 pm 

By Lilybeth G. Ison

MANILA, May 28 — The House of Representatives has unanimously ratified the bicameral committee report on a new rent control law that imposes one year moratorium on rental increase and a seven percent cap until 2013.

The report was the result of the bicameral conference committee meeting last May 20 on the disagreeing provisions in Senate Bill no. 3163 and House Bill no. 6098, which replaces the old rental control law that expired on December 31, 2008.

In addition to the one year prohibition on rental hike, the bicameral conference committee also agreed to impose a seven percent ceiling in annual rental increases for units charging rent up to P10,000 in Metro Manila, and up to P5,000 in other areas. This is lower than the old law's cap of 10 percent increase annually.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro Casino, principal sponsor of the measure in the House and a member of the bicameral conference committee, on Thursday hailed the development "since more than 1.54 million poor families living in rented houses, plus hundreds of thousands of bedspacers and dormitory residents will immediately benefit from this law."

He said he hopes that the bill will be signed into law before Congress adjourns on June 5.

Casino said the measure "aims to protect poor families from higher and unreasonable rental payments at this time when we are feeling the adverse effects of the global economic recession."

"The enactment of the Rent Control Act will somehow relieve the families' burden of higher rentals," he added.

The prohibitions would apply to house and lot units, apartments and other dwelling places including boarding houses, dormitories, rooms and bedspacers offered for rent by their owners. It also includes residential units used for home industries, sari-sari stores or other business purposes which doubles as dwelling places for the business owner.

A two-year moratorium for rental increases was earlier proposed in HB 5849 but this was reduced to one year by the House and upheld by the bicameral conference committee.

Aside from Casino, HB 5849 was co-authored by Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Satur Ocampo; Gabriela party-list Reps. Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan; and Anakpawis party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano. (PNA) DCT/LGI

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