Marcos Government to Launch Electricity Subsidy Program for Poor Households

The Marcos government announced that it will launch the Lifeline Rate program next month, a subsidy scheme that will help qualified low-income households pay their electricity bills.

The Lifeline Program is a discounted rate given to eligible low-income electricity customers who are unable to pay their electricity bills at full cost. The program aims to ease the burden of rising power costs on the poor and vulnerable sectors of society.

According to the Presidential Communications Office, among the households who can apply for the Lifeline Rate program are the beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), or customers considered to be living below the poverty threshold set by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

Only one Distribution Utility (DU)/Electric Cooperative (EC) service per qualified household can be granted a lifeline rate. In case there are more than one beneficiaries who apply for the lifeline rate from the same household, using the same service account, only one application will be granted with lifeline rate while the remaining application/s will be disapproved.

Qualified beneficiaries may apply by submitting to the DU and EC their duly accomplished Lifeline Rate Application Form, their most recent electricity bill, and any valid government-issued identification card (ID) containing the signature and address of the customer.

If the customer is living below the poverty threshold set by the PSA, he or she must submit a certification from the local Social Welfare and Development Office (SWDO) issued within the last six months showing that his or her family income is below the poverty threshold applicable at the time of his or her application.

The power reduction rate varies depending on the prevailing rates of the DUs or ECs. In the Meralco franchise area, lifeline end-users with zero to 20 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of monthly consumption will be granted a 100-percent discount on the generation charges, including system loss, transmission, and distribution components of their bill, except for the fixed metering charge of PhP5, which means more or less only PhP20 from their electric bills will be paid.

If they do not avail themselves of the Lifeline Rate through Meralco, they will have to shell out more or less PhP250. Customers with 21-50 kWh usage who apply for Lifeline Rate will only pay more or less, PhP300 in their electric bills. Otherwise, they will have to pay the undiscounted amount of around PhP550, if they do not apply for the Lifeline Rate.

Those with a 51-70 kWh consumption bracket and apply for Lifeline Rate will only be paying around PhP522.90, but will pay the undiscounted rate of PhP763.37, if they do not apply for the Lifeline Rate. Those with 71-100 kWh usage and apply for Lifeline Rate will only pay PhP904.21, but will pay the undiscounted rate of PhP1,099.10, if they do not apply for the Lifeline Rate.

The program roll-out has been moved to September 2023 to give qualified customers more time to register.

The Marcos government said that the Lifeline Rate program is part of its efforts to provide social protection and welfare to the Filipino people, especially amid the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Presidential Communications Office

Sources:
(1) PBBM admin to launch Lifeline Rate program to aid poor households pay …. https://pco.gov.ph/news_releases/pbbm-admin-to-launch-lifeline-rate-program-to-aid-poor-households-pay-their-electricity-bills/.
(2) DOE urges 4Ps beneficiaries to avail of Government electricity lifeline …. https://pia.gov.ph/press-releases/2023/08/01/doe-urges-4ps-beneficiaries-to-avail-of-government-electricity-lifeline-program.
(3) Subsidized electricity rates for low-income … – CNN Philippines. https://www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2023/8/6/meralco-lifeline-rate-september.html.

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