ECs to subsidize power needs of poor consumers

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Electric cooperatives (ECs) are planning to subsidize the electricity needs of poor consumers affected by the Luzon-wide quarantine, according to state-run National Electrification Administration.

NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said the proposed electricity subsidy program called Pantawid Liwanag targets poor consumers in the countryside whose primary sources of income and livelihoods have been severely disrupted by the coronavirus crisis.

“To show solidarity in dealing with this crisis, the electric cooperatives are exploring all means to continuously deliver electricity services to their respective consumers as well as mitigate the cost of electric consumption by accessing funds for the design and implementation of Pantawid Liwanag,” Masongsong said.

The project is a corporate social responsibility program led by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (Philreca) to cushion the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on the poorest of the poor.

This is in addition to the steps already taken by the power distribution utilities, such as the 30-day payment extension to electricity consumers and the cancellation of surcharges on late payments and power disconnections for consumers who failed to pay on time.

This follows the call of the Department of Energy (DOE) to defer payments of obligations and dues among all stakeholders in the power sector to help consumers.  

These steps will help ease the consumers’ financial burden, especially those impacted by the enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic.



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