MANILA – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday said the tripartite body’s decision to delay the full implementation of the new electricity lifeline rate program to January 2024 will allow the enlistment of more beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
DSWD Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez said the full rollout this September was reset due to low registration.
“The DSWD welcomes the decision to move to January 2024 the full implementation of the lifeline rate program as this will enable more 4Ps beneficiaries and other qualified poor households to avail of the discounts in their electricity bills,” said Lopez, also spokesperson of DSWD.
The subsidy is provided under Republic Act (RA) 11552, or an Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate, amending for the purpose Section 73 of RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.
“Qualified 4Ps beneficiaries under the lifeline rate program should have a monthly electricity consumption of 100 kWh or below to avail the discount ranging from 20 to 100 percent in their Meralco electricity bills depending on their actual consumption,” Lopez said.
Last Tuesday, a tripartite body composed of the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the DSWD signed an advisory postponing the full rollout of the lifeline rate program to January 2024 to enable more qualified poor households to avail of the cheaper electricity.
The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has intensified its barangay caravans in various cities and provinces within its franchise area to encourage more 4Ps beneficiaries and other qualified marginalized households to apply.
“The DSWD has earlier engaged the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Offices (ALSWODOPI) so they can help us in disseminating the Lifeline Subsidy Project and to engage in a data sharing agreement with us for the data of the poor households,” Lopez said.
The DOE said there were 47,171 registrants for the lifeline program as of Aug. 30, which was significantly higher than the earlier reported 1,816 consumers out of 24 million 4Ps beneficiaries nationwide who have applied for the lifeline program as of July 10.
The 4Ps is a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition and the education of children aged 0-18.
Eligible customers, including 4Ps beneficiaries, can apply by visiting the nearest Meralco Business Center with their completed application form, latest electricity bill, and 4Ps ID.
For non-4Ps beneficiaries, a local social welfare development offices (LSWDO) certification and government ID are needed.
The tripartite body said only those who have approved applications shall be entitled to avail of the subsidy provided under the lifeline rate program starting Jan. 1, 2024. (PNA)