More than 46,000 consumers benefit from ‘Pantawid Liwanag’ program in Ilocos Sur

Published April 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Freddie Lazaro

SANTIAGO, Ilocos Sur – At least 46,625 minimum power consumers in Ilocos Sur were able to avail of the Pantawid Liwanag Program of the Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative Incorporated (INSECO).

A child uses a tablet as he watches  a video posted on the internet in Quezon City, February 28, 2019.  (MARK BALMORES / MANILA BULLETIN)
A child uses a tablet as he watches a video posted on the internet in Quezon City, February 28, 2019.

The program aims to subsidize the electric bills of qualified consumers for the months of March and April.

According to ISECO Spokesperson Clarence Ducusin, recipients of the program are household consumers with monthly consumption of 25-kilowatt hours (KwH) and below.

The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA) realized the “Pantawid Liwanag” as its corporate social responsibility program supporting the government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to the poorest of the poor.

ISECO has allocated P8.1 million for the two-month implementation of the program in which around P4.05 million have been allocated for March, and a similar amount for April.

The fund for the subsidy was sourced out from the electric coop’s deferred programs this year such as the annual general meeting, district election, and patronage refund of member consumer owners’ organization, training, and Christmas program.

Based on the initial guideline of the program, the considered recipients of the program are the lifeline consumers with zero to 20 KwH monthly consumption.

However, the board of directors and the management of ISECO have agreed to adjust the monthly consumption of qualified recipients of the program from zero to 25 kWh.

“The estimated cost of the said power consumption is Php234.52 per month,” he said.

According to Ducusin, the list of recipients of the program represents 26 percent of the 180,000 household electric consumers in Ilocos Sur.

Aside from the subsidy, the ISECO management will temporarily suspend the 30-day grace period of electric consumption payment by the consumers and the cancellation of Php50.00 penalty on late payments, and the power disconnections for consumers who failed to pay on time.

All qualified consumers will sign their statement of account and return it to the meter readers or the nearest ISECO branch.

“If the qualified consumer has already paid their March billing, the said payment will be credited as an advanced payment for the following month after April,” said Ducusin.