By TED CORDERO, GMA Integrated News
The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday called on electricity consumers who are beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to register with distribution utilities (DUs).
This is to ensure that 4Ps beneficiaries will continue to get discounts for lifeline consumers, according to the DOE.
The Energy Department said that starting August this year, 4Ps electricity consumers who have not registered with their DUs will no longer receive rate discounts.
“Applications to avail of the lifeline rate program shall continue to be processed by the DUs, but discounts will be effective only upon registration,” it said.
Citing data from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the DOE said only 1,816 consumers out of 24 million 4Ps beneficiaries nationwide had applied for the lifeline program as of July 10, 2023.
The department said that only 31 DUs have received lifeline program applications, while 110 DUs have not received a single application as of the same date.
The subsidy is provided under Republic Act 11552, or an Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate, Amending for the Purpose Section 73 of RA 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
Under the law, lifeline or subsidized rates are given to low-income customers using electricity below 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month who cannot afford to pay their bills at full cost. — VBL, GMA Integrated News