The Calamianes-based power cooperative BISELCO is granting discounts and a flexible payment scheme for most of its consumer-members and has decided not to collect the unpaid bills of low-income households during the 2-month lockdown period of March and April.
The Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative (BISELCO), together with local government officials of Busuanga, have agreed to provide discounts to some 16,000 members residing in Coron and Busuanga.
Low-income households or “lifeliners”, whose monthly electrical consumptions do not surpass 10 kilowatt-hours (10kwh), will no longer be required to settle their electric bills incurred during March and April.
“Meron po tayong mga low-income households na talagang mabibigatan sa pagbayad dahil sa kawalan ng trabaho buhat ng pandemya. Sila ay in-allow na libre ang kanilang March and April bills,” Jonathan Dabuit, Busuanga information officer, told the Palawan News on Thursday.
Expected to benefit from free electricity consumption are some 3,000 lifeliners, according to Dabuit.
Regular members who were unable to settle their bills for March and April may pay in installments from June to September, without surcharge. They will also enjoy P100 off their bills for the month of May.
Solar power subscribers in Barangay San Isidro will only pay 25% of their April, and that amount will be returned to the subscribers as cash.
BISELCO has committed to aiding its member-households who are unable to make payments due to the COVID-19 crisis. However, the cooperative faces challenges in meeting its required remittance of 80% of its revenue to the Calamian Island Power Corporation (CIPC), its power provider.
“Just to give you an idea, noong March, in Busuanga alone, 89% lang ang collections ng BISELCO doon. Sa April 68%, at 44% na lang sa May,” said Dabuit.
“Dahil nahihirapan na ang cooperative na ma-meet ang 80% revenue to remit to the CIPC, they were given until June 15 to continue the arrangement. Kaso nga, eto nga at paliit nang paliit ang koleksyon dahl hirap na ngang magbayad ang mga miyembro,” he added.
Dabuit further called upon the national government to provide a comprehensive solution to the cooperative’s plight.