May 26, 2024

Full rollout of the lifeline subsidy for poor households has been rescheduled on January 2024 to allow more beneficiaries to enlist in the program, the Department of Social Welfare and Development announced.

DSWD Asst. Secretary and spokesperson Romel Lopez said the DSWD, the Department of Energy, and Energy Regulatory Commission decided to delay the full implementation of the new electricity lifeline rate program due to low registration of 4Ps beneficiaries.

“The DSWD welcomes the decision to move to January 2024 the full implementation of the lifeline rate program as this will enable more 4Ps beneficiaries and other qualified poor households to avail of the discounts in their electricity bills,” Lopez said.

The subsidy is provided under Republic Act 11552, or an Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate, amending for the purpose Section 73 of RA 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Qualified beneficiaries under the lifeline rate program should have a monthly electricity consumption of 100 kWh or below to avail the discount ranging from 20 to 100 percent.

“The DSWD has earlier engaged the Association of Local Social Welfare and Development Offices so they can help us in disseminating the lifeline subsidy project and to engage in a data sharing agreement with us for the data of the poor households,” Lopez said.

The DOE said there were 47,171 registrants for the lifeline program as of Aug. 30, which was significantly higher than the earlier reported 1,816 consumers out of 24 million 4Ps beneficiaries nationwide who have applied for the lifeline program as of July 10.

The 4Ps is a human development measure of the national government that provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor, to improve the health, nutrition and the education of children aged zero to 18 years old.

Eligible customers, including 4Ps beneficiaries, may apply by visiting the nearest electric utility with their completed application form, latest electricity bill, and 4Ps ID.

For non-4Ps beneficiaries, a local social welfare development office certification and government ID are needed.

The tripartite body said only those who have approved applications shall be entitled to avail of the subsidy provided under the lifeline rate program starting Jan. 1, 2024. – PNA