Solon bats for ‘Pantawid Kuryente’ electronic vouchers for consumers
MANILA, Philippines — A House leader suggested Saturday the implementation of “Pantawid Kuryente Program” in the form of electronic vouchers that will give discount to power consumers in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble, and if possible, cities and provinces placed in lockdown last year.
Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera-Dy said the Department of Finance (DOF) can send the vouchers to the account of electricity consumers in the NCR Plus.
Under Herrera-Dy’s suggestion, a household consuming up to 50 kilowatts per hour (kwh) per month can be given a 100-percent one-month discount while a household with up to 100 kwh per month can get a 75-percent one-month only discount. Further, a household with up to 150 kwh per month consumption gets a 50-percent one-month only discount, while a household with less than 200 kwh per month receives a 25-percent one-month only discount.
“The Pantawid Kuryente Program is not new because the DSWD and NEA have done it before. Akin to this is the Pantawid Pasada program which the DOE (Department of Energy) and DOF implemented before,” Herrera-Dy said in a statement.
“If more funds are available, the scope can include LGU areas which were under ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) or MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) in 2020,” the House leader added.
Herrera-Dy said the discount rates were only her suggestion and that the DOF may apply a different graduated scale of electricity bill discounts depending on available national government funds.
“LGU (local government units) can pitch in with their own electricity electronic vouchers ranging from P500 to P2,000 depending on their available local funds and with the Local Government Code as legal basis,” Herrera-Dy said.
Additional funding for the vouchers may also come from Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) rebates and fines while the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-IBIG Fund can also pitch in with their Pantawid Kuryente vouchers for their respective active members.
“Kailangan ang Pantawid Kuryente ngayon dahil nalunod na ng overdue electricity bills ang maraming pamilyang Pilipino. Mabawasan man lang kahit konti ang pasanin nila, malaking tulong na iyon,” Herrera-Dy said.
(We need the Pantawid Kuryente Program now because many Filipino families have drowned from overdue electricity bills. We can at least alleviate their problems, that’s a big help already.)
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