July 17, 2024

The Benguet Electric Cooperative is now accepting applications for the lifeline rate discount, which provides a subsidy to households consuming 45 kilowatt hours a month.

The discount is pursuant to Republic Act 1152 or the law that extends and enhances the implementation of the lifeline rate.

Under the law’s implementing rules and regulations, member-consumers of electric distribution utilities, such as Beneco, are entitled to a discount provided they meet the criteria, among which include their enrollment to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid or 4Ps Program and they fall under the poverty threshold set by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

In an advisory issued July 4, the Beneco Non-Network Services Department has encouraged qualified beneficiaries to file their applications at the consumer welfare desks located at South Drive, Baguio City or Buyacaoan, Buguias, Benguet.

Beneficiaries of the 4Ps Program must submit application form, their recent electricity bill, and valid government-issued ID containing the signature and address of the consumer.

Consumer-members who are not 4Ps beneficiaries meanwhile must submit a certification from the local Social Welfare and Development Office issued six months before their application, showing that the family income is below the poverty threshold applicable at the time of the application; most recent electricity bill, andvalid government-issued ID containing the signature and address of the consumer.

All applicants must also submit proof of residence or barangay certification if electric service is not registered under the name of the applicant and letter of authority if the application is filed through a representative and the valid government issued ID of the representative.

Member-consumers who have been previously enjoying the lifeline rate discount and are no longer qualified under the recent criteria provided by law will delisted effective Aug. 1.

The advisory added only those who submitted approved applications will be able to avail of the discount.

The discount and the equivalent amount to be given to households depend on the consumption and the prevailing electricity rates.

Based on the June rate for instance, if a household’s consumption is 41 kwh to 45 kwh, the discount is five percent. If a household consumes 21 kwh to 25 kwh, the discount is at 40 percent.

 The lifeline rate subsidy is a socialized pricing mechanism under RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act where low-income customers are given discounts provided their level electric consumption is 45kwh a month.

It used to benefit marginalized consumers who have existing meter accounts and covered owners of condominium units and vacation houses whose use of electricity was low since their residences are rarely occupied.

With the passage of RA 1152, only the marginalized consumers who are enrolled in the 4Ps Program and those falling under the poverty threshold can now be qualified for the subsidy.

Also, those who do not have accounts with Beneco but are qualified indigents can submit the account of the building where they reside. – Jane B. Cadalig