37k out of 4M enrolled in electricity lifeline subsidy program
37k out of 4M enrolled in electricity lifeline subsidy program
37k out of 4M enrolled in electricity lifeline subsidy program
by Daylight Abas23 August 2023
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

Only 37,000 applicants have enrolled out of 4 million possible applicants targeted by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the lifeline subsidy program of different electric cooperatives and utilities in the Philippines.

The said members are from the members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and marginalized sectors to join the program that will entitle them to discounts in their electricity bill, which the Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company (Meralco) will provide discounts ranging from 200 to 100 percent, depending on the electricity consumption.

As such, a household must be a member of the 4Ps and consume power not exceeding 100 kWh to qualify for the said subsidy.

According to Meralco, 7,000 out of only over 10,000 applicants have been approved already, saying that it will do everything to urge more consumers to apply before the untagging starts by the end of August, which results in higher electricity bills for the affected customers.

The DOE and ERC plan to impose the untagging phase due to the low registration rate, said ERC chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta, and the implementation has already been deferred due to the low number of registrants.

Dimalanta explained that she will ask the DSWD about the possibility of starting the program in areas with more registrants.

Meanwhile, the ERC has deferred the resumption of the Feed-in Tariff Allowance, or FIT-All, charge to all consumers countrywide indefinitely, saving around P0.04/kWH on their power bills.

FIT-All is a tax levied on all consumers and paid to renewable energy suppliers.

Dimalanta said that the fund is still in good shape and will be able to continue making payments to renewable energy companies in the coming months.

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