CITY OF SAN FERNANDO Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has proposed a P1 per kilowatt hour (KwH) subsidy to help low-income power consumers amid the rising prices of commodities and high inflation rate.
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 (Electric Power Industry Reform Act).
Gatchalian is the major author of the Lifeline Rate Extension Act.
He said on Sunday that the proposed subsidy of P1/kWh or a total of P418 million from the government would allow low-income power consumers dubbed as "lifeliners," to use their savings from electric bills for other expenses like rice.
These lifeline consumers can save an average of P296.67 per month which would allow a family to buy 5.6 kilos of rice based on the average retail price of regular-milled rice of P39.195 per kilogram (per, as per Philippine Statistics Authority data).
The lifeline rate subsidy, the lawmaker noted, has benefitted some 4.181 million households, all beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) across the country.
All 4Ps beneficiaries need is to consume not more than 100 kilowatt hours of electricity per month to avail of the subsidy.
"We are happy that many have benefited from our electricity lifeline rate law, but we can further help them if they can instead use their money for other expenses while the inflation rate is high,” Gatchalian said.
Energy remained one of the top contributors to inflation, accounting for 1.0 percentage point of the country's inflation rate in February 2023, which was just 3.0 percent in the same period last year.
March 20, 2023
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