Dispute Resolution, Litigation, Arbitration

What are the Acts Penalized under R.A. No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan To Heal As One Act” or “Bayanihan Law”?

On 25 March 2020, the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” (RA 11469) declaring a state of national emergency over the entire Philippines and granting certain powers to the Chief Executive to allow for greater flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law. In order to enforce these temporary special powers, RA 11469 also came with a penalty clause defining the possible violations by an individual or a corporation whether from the public or private sector.

The Bayanihan Law shall be in effect for a period of three (3) months from publication, but may be extended by Congress. Although not expressly stated, the prohibited acts under the Bayanihan Law must be committed during the effectivity period as these acts are considered crimes in the context of the state of national emergency declared over the whole country. There are certain acts specified therein which would not otherwise be penalized if not for the declaration of a state of national emergency.

Prohibited Acts

Section 6(a) penalizes local government unit officials who disobey national government policies or directives in regard to quarantine impositions;

Section 6(b) penalizes privately-owned hospitals, medical and health facilities including passenger vessels and other establishments that unjustifiably refuse to operate pursuant to the directive of the Chief Executive. Under Section 4(h), privately-owned hospitals and medical and health facilities including passenger vessels and other establishments may be directed by the Chief Executive to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, quarantine centers, medical relief and aid distribution locations, or other temporary medical facilities and to ferry health, emergency and frontline personnel and other persons;

Section 6(c) penalizes those engaging in hoarding, profiteering, injurious speculations, manipulation of prices, product deceptions and cartels, monopolies or other combinations in restraint of trade or other pernicious practices affecting the supply, distribution of the following goods and items, as required in agriculture, industry and other essential services, and other articles of prime necessity, whether imported or locally produced or manufactured:

  1. Food
  2. Clothing
  3. Hygiene and sanitation products
  4. Medicine and medical supplies
  5. Fuel
  6. Fertilizers
  7. Chemicals
  8. Building materials
  9. Implements
  10. Machinery equipment
  11. Spare parts

Section 6(d) penalizes the refusal to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services necessary to promote the Bayanihan Law’s declared national policy. Section 4(q) requires businesses to prioritize and accept contracts necessary to promote the declared national policy, subject to fair and reasonable terms;

Section 6(e) penalizes refusal to provide thirty (30) day grace periods required under Sections 4 (aa) and (bb):

  • Section 4 (aa) requires banks, quasi-banks, financing companies, lending companies and other financial institutions, public or private, to implement a minimum thirty (30) day grace period for payment of all loans falling due within the period of the enhanced community quarantine without incurring interests, penalties, fees or other charges. [Note that Implementing Rules and Regulations for Section 4 (aa) have been issued by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in Revenue Regulations No. 8- 2020 dated 01 April 2020 providing for “Rules and Regulations Implementing Section 4(aa) of Republic Act No. 1169, otherwise known as the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act”; and by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Memorandum No. 2020-017.]
  • Section 4 (bb) requires residential property owners and managers to provide a minimum thirty (30) day grace period for rentals falling due within the period of the enhanced community quarantine, without incurring interest, penalties, fees and other charges. This is regardless of the type of business entity that rents out the property and even if it is only incidental to the lessor’s main business [Note that the DTI has issued Guidelines on the Concessions on Residential Rents; Commercial Rents of MSMEs in DTI Memorandum Circular No. 20-12, series of 2020] ;

Section 6 (g) penalizes businesses engaged in transportation, whether land, sea or air for failure to comply with reasonable limitations on its operations. Section 4(r) authorizes the Chief Executive to regulate and limit the operation of all sectors of transportation throughout the Bayanihan Law’s effectivity.


Section 6 of RA 11469 imposes imprisonment of two (2) months or a fine of not less than Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) but not more than One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) or both, at the discretion of the court.

These are in addition to any other penalties already provided by any existing law.

When the foregoing offenses are committed by a corporation, association, partnership or any other juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon its president, directors, managers, or managing partners.[1] It can also be imposed upon those who participated in the commission of the offense or who shall have knowingly permitted or failed to prevent the commission of the same.[2]

Bayanihan Law vis-à-vis Constitutional Rights

Even with the grant of these special powers to the Chief Executive, RA 11459 does not suspend constitutional rights, as stated in the Bill of Rights, of any person accused of the foregoing offenses.[3] During custodial investigation, the right to be informed of the right to remain silent and to have competent and independent counsel of your own choice is still available.[4]These rights cannot be waived except if the same is made in writing and in the presence of a counsel. RA 11459 makes clear that anyone charged with violation thereof are fully entitled to due process.

Click to read the following referred issuance:

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[1] Section 6

[2] Id.

[3] Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

[4] Section 12 (1), Article III of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

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