San Fernando Electric Light and Power Company (SFELAPCO) announced that lifeline consumers can now submit their application for availment of discount on electricity bills, following the Energy Regulatory Commission’s latest directive on lifeline rate.
Power distribution utilities have been providing discounts to lifeline consumers or residential customers who consume 70 kilowatt-hour (kWh) or less per month and lack the capacity to pay their usage.
According to Rocky Bayas, SFELAPCO Vice President for Strategic Planning, lifeline consumers previously enjoyed automatic discounts, but the ERC has changed this rule under its new project, pursuant to the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11552 (RA 11552), otherwise known as “An Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate.”
“The ERC would like to change that in its new project. Now, the beneficiaries of the lifeline discount should be specifically identified and see if they indeed cannot pay,” Bayas explained during a recent media briefing.
He said beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) are covered by the program, but others who are also qualified must submit proof they don’t have the means to pay their electricity bill before they can avail of the discount.
“Tatanggalin na iyong automatic lifeline benefits and for them to avail of that discount, they have to apply in our office. They can submit documentary evidence as proof that they don’t have the capability to pay,” Bayas said.
For 4Ps beneficiaries, they must submit the accomplished application form provided by SFELAPCO together with their most recent electricity bill and any government ID with signature.
Meanwhile, the non-4Ps beneficiaries must submit a certification from the local Social Welfare and Development Officer (SWDO) issued six months prior to the application indicating that their income fallS below the poverty threshold, together with the other three above-mentioned documents.
Under the lifeline discount program, qualified consumers who use 0-20 kWh of electricity per month can get a full discount. Consumers who use 21-35 kWh, 30-50 kWh, and 51-70 kWh receive a 50-, 40-, and 20-percent discount, respectively.
The ERC recently signed a Data Sharing Agreement (DSA) with distribution utilities (DUs), including SFELAPCO, to determine their consumers who can avail of the government’s “lifeline rate” program.
The ERC has furnished DUs with a certified list of 4Ps beneficiaries from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The certified list will be then used as a basis to determine the qualifications of consumers who can avail of the lifeline rate.