These economic-financial measures are intended to enable families, as well as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, to cope with the economic consequences of the emergency generated by COVID-19, allowing for the provision of basic services.
They shall be applied by the providers of water, electricity, telephone and internet services, whether public or private, during the term of the State of Public Calamity and its extensions as follows:
- From the declaration of the State of Public Calamity, in no case may the providing of these services be suspended.
- No standstill charges, interest, administrative costs or any other penalties may be applied to users.
- Users who are not able to pay, can make agreements of up to 12 months, without surcharge, to start the following month in which the state of public calamity has ceased. The service companies must sign the agreement immediately.
- The National Mortgage Credit (CHN in Spanish) will make available a specific fund to provide credit to water and cable service providers, in an amount similar to the sum of the amount of agreements concluded with users.
The Minister of Communications, Infrastructure and Housing; the Superintendent of Telecommunications; the Minister of Energy and Mines; the National Electrical Energy Commission; the Minister of Economy and the Directorate of Consumer Care and the User shall ensure compliance.
The CHN shall grant credits from the Capital Protection Fund for educational establishments referred to in article 9 of Decree 12-2020 of the Congress of the Republic, which is required for payment of fees and payroll. The maximum amount of these credits shall be equal to the monthly amount of the payroll, up to six months.
The loans granted by the CHN to water service providers will pay interest no higher than the average of the banking system’s passive interest rate. They will not be subject to formalities, but only the presentation of legal accreditations of the company, list of collections of the last 3 months and invoices subject to loan, the procedure will not be more than 5 working days.
This decree is of national urgency and will enter into force the day after its publication in the Central American Newspaper. Published on May 21, 2020.