Registered 4Ps beneficiaries to enjoy electricity bill discounts in January 2024

Registered 4Ps beneficiaries to enjoy electricity bill discounts in January 2024
Residents of Batasan in Quezon City receive cash aid at Quezon City Polytechnic Univesity from the government's social amelioration package.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Registered beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) will enjoy discounts on their monthly electricity bills starting in January through the government’s new power bill subsidy program, a senator said on Monday.

The Lifeline Rate Subsidy Program — which will be fully implemented by the start of 2024 — will provide discounts for registered electricity customers who cannot pay their electricity bills at full cost.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian reminded beneficiaries on Monday that only those who have registered for the program can avail of the subsidy.

Gatchalian noted that the government body managing the subsidy program delayed its implementation from September this year to January 2024 to give more 4Ps beneficiaries time to enlist. The senator authored the law that mandated the extension (Republic Act 11552).

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) — among the three agencies part of the tripartite council implementing the program — said in an earlier press release that 4Ps beneficiaries and Listahan-identified poor can avail of the discount.

Depending on consumers' electricity consumption, they can avail of a 20 to 100% discount on their electricity bills, while discounts can also vary at distribution utilities, the DSWD said.

Households that have a power consumption of 0–20 kWh (kilowatt-hour) are entitled to a 100% subsidy, while those that consume 21–50 kWh can get a 50% subsidy. 

Meanwhile, households that consume 51–70 kWh are entitled to a 35% subsidy while those consuming 71–100 kWh can get a 20% subsidy.

How to avail

To apply for the Lifeline Rate Subsidy Program, 4Ps beneficiaries should visit the nearest distribution utility or electric cooperative in their respective area to apply for the subsidy program.

The application process will require beneficiaries to present their 4Ps ID or other valid government-issued ID with the signature and address of the electric consumer, the accomplished application form and the most recent electricity bill 

Qualified beneficiaries living below the Philippine Statistics Authority-set poverty threshold (Listahan-identified poor) must present a certification from the local DSWD office issued within the last six months showing that their family income is lower than the threshold applicable at the time of their application.

DSWD has launched information caravans in different provinces to reach more 4Ps beneficiaries who can benefit from the subsidy program.

The signing up process for the Lifeline Rate Subsidy Program should not be too “cumbersome” for 4Ps beneficiaries, Gatchalian said.

“There should also be an intensified information and dissemination campaign to reach as many beneficiaries as possible," the senator added. — Cristina Chi

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