The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) announced on Wednesday, April 15, that customers who consumed not more than 50 kilowatt hours or the so-called life-line consumers will no longer be charged for their use of electricity for the months of March and April.
“Maliban sa isang buwan na grace period sa pagbabayad ng kuryente, libre na ang inyong konsumo sa loob ng March to April billing period,” Cabinet Sec. Karlos Nograles, spokesperson of the IATF, said during a virtual press briefing.
Nograles expects that around three million Filipino poor consumers would benefit from the Pantawid Liwanag electricity subsidy program, an initiative by the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA).
The program will cover not only consumers in Luzon, which has been placed under enhanced community quarantine since March 17, but also those in the Visayas and Mindanao.
“Salamat sa National Electrification Administration, NEA; sa PHILRECA at sa ating mga electric coop sa inyong tulong at ambag sa bayanihang ito,” Nograles said.
Electric cooperatives previously announced a 30-day extension on the deadline for the payment of electric bills since consumers in Luzon cannot leave their homes due to the enhanced community quarantine.
Meanwhile, the IATF spokesperson said that the Department of Energy assured that Luzon has enough power supply for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine, set to end by April 30.
“As for the power demands in Luzon, the Department of Energy reports that we have an available capacity of 11,795 megawatts, which is greater than the actual peak demand of 7,323 megawatts in Luzon,” Nograles said.
“This means, we currently have an excess capacity of 4,742 megawatts. Ibig pong sabihin, lubos din po ang supply ng ating kuryente dito po sa Luzon,” the Palace official added.