Guidelines on Interruption of Periods for Filing of Documents, Payment of Taxes, Cancellation of Proceedings due to Community Quarantine (Administrative Order No. 30)

The President has issued a directive for the issuance of guidelines on the interruption of periods for the filing of documents, payment of taxes and other fees, and cancellation of proceedings by reason of the community quarantine. Note that a “community quarantine” may refer to a general community quarantine or an enhanced community quarantine.

The directive, contained in Administrative Order No. 30 dated 21 April 2020, covers all heads of:

  • Departments, agencies, offices, and instrumentalities of the government
  • Government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs)
  • Government financial institutions (GFIs)
  • State universities and colleges (SUCs)
  • Local Government Units (LGUs)

Heads of other branches of government and independent constitutional bodies, which are beyond the authority of the Executive Department, are merely enjoined to comply with the purpose of the Presidential directive.

The directive consists in the immediate formulation and issuance of rules or guidelines on the following, to be applied in areas under community quarantine or to individuals coming from such areas, as the case may be:

  • a. Interruption of reglementary periods for the commencement of actions and claims; the filing of pleadings, appearances, motions, notices, and all other papers; and the rendition of judgments, resolutions, and orders for the duration of the community quarantine;
  • b. Cancellation of proceedings and the rescheduling thereof after the lifting of community quarantine;
  • c. Acceptable justifications for the failure of litigants or their counsel, as well as claimants, to comply with reglementary periods or to appear at legal proceedings, if they are coming from jurisdictions where quarantine protocols restrict their movements;
  • d. Suspension of deadlines for the payment of monetary obligations and/or the submission of documents, for the duration of community quarantine; and 
  • e. Movement of timelines for the grant of any benefit, to allow the release thereof to individuals during community quarantine.

Notwithstanding sub-paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) above, reglementary periods and proceedings for urgent cases which are necessary to enable the government to act expeditiously on matters affecting the current public health emergency shall not be interrupted or cancelled. 

The directive shall apply only in relation to areas where community quarantine was declared in accordance with the rules issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Diseases (IATF) or the Office of the President, until the date that the same office that made the declaration, provided the lifting be also in accordance with the rules of the IATF or the Office of the President.

Under Proclamation No. 30, all issuances previously released by agencies pertaining to the extension, interruption or movement of the periods and timelines set by law for the filing of documents, conduct of proceedings, payment of taxes, fees, and other charges, and the grant of any benefit or claim due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are adopted and ratified insofar as they are consistent with the guidelines set forth by the IATF and the directives of the Office of the President. 

P&L Law

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