Suspension of Basic Services Banned

In Guatemala, a legislative project prohibiting cuts in water, electricity, cable TV, telephone and Internet services during the state of calamity, which was decreed by the outbreak of covid-19 in the country, was published.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

After multiple struggles, Decree 15-2020 was published on May 21 in the Diario de Centroamérica, which was approved by the deputies and then vetoed by President Alejandro Giammattei.

The file then returned to the Legislative and the veto was rejected by Congress. Now, with the publication in the official newspaper, the bill is firm.

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Article 2 of the Decree details that "... In order to avoid the interruption of basic services to the Guatemalan population in a situation of vulnerability, emergency measures are established to be applied by the entities providing water, cable, electricity, telephone and Internet services, whether public or private, and which will be applicable during the state of public calamity and its possible extensions, as follows:

a) From the time of the declaration of the state of public calamity, in no case may the provision of these services be suspended.

b) The following cannot be applied to the accounts of the users of these services: moratorium charges, interests, administrative expenses, any other penalty.

c) Users who are unable to make the corresponding payments for consumption to the service providers may sign payment agreements in up to twelve quotas, without any surcharge, starting in the month following the month in which the state of public emergency has ceased. The service providers must sign the respective agreement immediately

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