(Photo from Sherwin Gatchalian FB page)

The government must ensure that only the authenticated poorest of the poor will benefit from the electricity rate subsidy program, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Monday.

In a news release, Gatchalian said the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11552, or the Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate until 2050, must be followed to the letter.ĺ

“Ang panawagan ko lang sa gobyerno ay tiyakin na ang dapat makinabang sa subsidiyang ito ay ang mga tunay na benepisyaryo o yung mga pinakamahihirap nating kababayan. Inaasahan na ang patuloy nating pagbibigay ng subsidiya ay magbibigay sa kanila ng kaluwagan sa gitna ng mataas na presyo ng mga pangunahing bilihin at iba pang buwanang bayarin sa bahay,” Gatchalian said.

He said the review of the list of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) subsidy for poor families will complement the law.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Energy, and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) approved the IRR of RA 11552.

Signed into law in May 2021, RA 11552 allows marginalized electricity consumers to avail of and benefit from the lifeline rate for a much longer time, from the previous 20 years to 50 years.

The law covers 4Ps beneficiaries and those who have been certified and continually validated as such by their power distribution utility.

The lifeline program has provided an average monthly subsidy of PHP541 million to nearly six million marginalized electricity end-users for the first semester this year, based on ERC data.

The actual discounts depend on the lifeline program per distribution utility approved by the ERC. (PNA)

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