Duterte okays extension of ‘no-disconnection policy’ for low-income families
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the extension of the “no-disconnection policy” for “lifeliners” or low-income households that are unable to pay their electricity bills amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Thursday.
“In the Cabinet meeting yesterday, the Department of Energy recommended to the President that this no-disconnection policy for lifeliners be continued. Ipagpatuloy po,” Nograles said in an online briefing.
“And the President readily agreed given that electricity is a basic necessity our countrymen cannot live without,” he added.
Nograles said lifeliners are households who consume 100 kilowatts per hour and below.
“According to the Department of Energy, while lifeliners comprise 32 percent of the customer base, they only account for 3 percent of electricity sales. So this is very doable,” Nograles said.
In a separate briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said there will be no electricity disconnection for lifeline consumers until the end of this month.
In October, the Energy Regulatory Commission barred power distributors from disconnecting accounts of households with low energy consumption due to non-payment of bills until the end of 2020.
Major power distributor Manila Electric Company, meanwhile, extended its no-disconnection policy only until the end of January 2021.
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