The support for the poor demographic of the country is not nearing a stop. From the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the 4Ps, to some of the most notable program out there. Decades back, this has been the practice; the poorest of the poor never were disregarded by the government even with their needs.
Now with the global pandemic, the Philippine government helped a lot of families. One of which is the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) offered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). This is the program in which about 18 million households are given cash assistance that range from P5,000 to P8,000.
In addition to that, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (MEID) said that there would be a treat for some of the lifeline consumers from the month of March until the month of April; you guessed it right – it’s free electricity for lifeline consumers.
Free electricity for lifeline consumers
In their announcement, they said that there will be free electricity for lifeline consumers who would have consumed less than 50 kilowatt per hour. Basically, they won’t be paying for anything.
But is this a program by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco)? Unfortunately, no. This article’s purpose is to clarify all the hearsay and the false information that has been spreading across the web.
So for the first clarification, the free electricity for lifeline consumers has its eligibility requirements and they are:
- Maximum should be at 50 kilowatt per hour
- Must be under an electric cooperative
- In Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao
It’s another treat aside from the grace period
Cabinet Secretary and IATF spokesperson Karlo Nograles said that this program looks to help more than 3 million people in our country. Because of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), millions of people weren’t able to work.
Target na tulungan ng Pantawid Liwanag ang tatlong milyong mahihirap na consumer ng mga electric cooperative.”
In Translation: The Pantawid Liwanag program looks to help 3 million poor consumers of electric cooperatives in the country.
To add to what he said, this is going to be a separate program from the one-month moratorium; and it would be a big blessing to a lot of people in the country. He clarified the guidelines and said that other than the one-month grace period, they would not pay for their electric bills.
Sa mga kababayan nating komukonsumo ng mas mababa sa 50 kilowatt per hour o yung mga tinatawag na ‘lifeline consumers’ ng mga electric cooperative dito sa Luzon, maging sa Visayas at Mindanao – maliban sa isang buwang grace period sa pagbabayad ng kuryente – libre na po ang inyong konsumo sa loob ng March to April billing period.”
In Translation: To all our fellowmen who have consumed less than 50 kilowatt an hour; as well as those we call lifeline consumers part of the electric cooperatives in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao will be treated to a free electric bill from the March to April billing. Furthermore, this is not the grace period of one month, it’s an added bonus.
Clarification: The free electricity for lifeline consumers is applicable only to electric cooperatives.
The one-month moratorium
Power firms in the country confirmed that they’ve provided a one-month moratorium for their charges; this is the grace period – as followed by the execution of the enhanced community quarantine.
The Department of Energy (DoE), has said that there’s actually excess in the power capacity in Luzon. Therefore, this wouldn’t be bulging to the government’s budget.
As for the power demands in Luzon, the Department of Energy reports that we have an available capacity of 11,795 MW, which is greater than the actual peak demand of 7,323 MW in Luzon.”
According to the Energy Department, about 11,795 megawatts is available for use compared to the peak demand which is only at about 7,323 megawatts in Luzon. That being said, there really is a surplus of energy.
What do you think about the free electricity bill for lifeline consumers who are part of the electric cooperatives? If you’re not part of it, what can you say about the private entity that provides and that gives the electricity you use?
As of the moment, it has been reported that about 3 million people or households would be affected by this. In fact, based on the data provided by the DoE, this is going to be more than enough.