LIST: Utilities extend payment deadlines in light of COVID-19

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 17) – Some firms that provide internet, wireless communications services, water, electricity and loans have adjusted their payment as the government placed the whole of Luzon under a stricter quarantine to help stop the spread the coronavirus disease.

Here is a running list of companies that have extended payment deadlines for at least a month:

Smart

Globe

PLDT

Converge

Skycable

Maynilad

Manila Water

Cignal

Meralco

BPI

EastWest Bank

BDO

(60-day payment extension for qualified credit card, SME, and personal loan customers with due dates of up to April 15, 2020)

RCBC Bankard

(30-day payment extension for cardholders in good standing and with due dates from March 16 to April 15, 2020)

The RCBC Bankard said their customers may still choose to pay through their website www.rcbconlinebanking.com and mobile app.

'Enhanced community quarantine' in Luzon takes effect

People who are on enhanced community quarantine cannot leave their home unless they need to buy medicine or food, or they are part of sectors allowed to go to work. President Rodrigo Duterte's new directive took effect midnight Tuesday and will be in place until midnight of April 13.

Under the new precautionary measures against COVID-19, work in the private sector may continue, but only if their employees will work from their homes.

Mass public transportation services are also suspended, including Transportation Network Vehicle Services like Grab.

All establishments in Luzon will be closed, except those that provide basic necessities like supermarkets, convenience stores, hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies, food preparation and delivery services, banks and water-refilling stations.

Two new cases of COVID-19 were also reported by the Department of Health on Monday, raising the country’s total cases to 142, including 12 deaths.

Globally, the virus has infected more than 180,000 people and killed over 7,000 according to the Johns Hopkins University's tracker.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which is related to the virus which causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, but is not as deadly, with the fatality rate standing at around three percent.

The disease is spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth when people infected with the virus cough or sneeze.

To prevent infection, authorities are urging people to practice regular hand washing, cover the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoid close contact with those who show respiratory symptoms.

Commonly reported COVID-19 symptoms are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. Those with severe and critical symptoms should call the Health Department at (02) 8-651-7800 local 1149-1150.