THE Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) is now accepting applications for grantees of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and people certified under the poverty line.
Applicants who are accepted will be provided a lifeline rate subsidy on electric consumption, which allows them to avail of lower rates on their electric bills.
For 4Ps beneficiaries, they must submit to BENECO the following: duly accomplished application form; most recent electricity bill and any government issued ID.
The marginalized consumers who are not 4Ps must submit the same requirements, including the DSWD certification that they are marginalized consumers.
In case the two sets of consumers do not have an existing account with BENECO, they can submit the account of the building where they reside.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) must certify both kinds of customers pursuant to Republic Act 11552, the new law that enhanced the lifeline rate subsidy previously followed by distribution utilities.
The lifeline rate subsidy is a socialized pricing mechanism under Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Republic Act 9136) where low income captive customers are given discounts provided their level electric consumption is 45 kilowatt hours (kWh) a month.
The subsidy, however, only benefitted marginalized consumers who have existing meter accounts. The subsidy also covered owners of condominium units and vacation houses whose use of electricity was low since their residences are rarely occupied.
Under the new guidelines, the coverage of the subsidy program has been expanded and the BENECO is conducting an inventory of non-marginalized beneficiaries such as condo and vacation home owners to remove them from the program.