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ERC, DOE and DSWD signed the IRR of R.A. 11552 Providing Subsidy to Marginalized Electricity Consumers

ERC, DOE and DSWD signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 11552 Providing Subsidy to Marginalized Electricity Consumers

28 October 2022 /ERC-Planning and Public Information Service


The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) with the Department of Energy Secretary (DOE) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 11552. Inset photo (L-R): DOE Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla, ERC Chairperson and CEO Monalisa C. Dimalanta, DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns Vilma B. Cabrera and other ERC Officials and employees at the ceremonial signing.

PASIG CITY – On 28 October 2022, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 11552 (R.A. 11552), otherwise known as “An Act Extending and Enhancing the Implementation of the Lifeline Rate, Amending for the Purpose Section 73 of Republic Act. No. 9136, or the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.”

The signing of the IRR was made pursuant to R.A. 11552 in an effort to ensure the fair and equitable implementation of the lifeline subsidy among qualified marginalized electricity end-users. According to DSWD Undersecretary for Special Concerns Vilma B. Cabrera delivering the message of Secretary Erwin T. Tulfo, “DSWD commits to assist in the implementation of the rules and regulations and identify qualified beneficiaries.”

The ERC hosted the ceremonial signing of the IRR in its office. ERC Chairperson and CEO Dimalanta commended the inter-agency team that crafted the rules and regulations. “The IRR is the product of effective inter-agency collaboration to deliver better public service. We are looking forward for its successful implementation,” she emphasized.

For his part, DOE Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla recalled the principles behind the provision on lifeline rate subsidy under Republic Act No. 9136 and said, “the lifeline rate program in the Philippines is one of the best designed lifeline rate programs in the world; ours is better targeted.”

As mandated by law, the ERC, DOE and DSWD, in consultation with the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) and other public and private stakeholders, with the approval of the Joint Congressional Energy Commission (JCPC), shall issue, adopt and promulgate the rules and regulations to implement the provisions of RA No. 11552.

Under Section 1 of RA No. 11552, further amending Section 73 of the EPIRA, as amended by RA No. 10150, the period of twenty (20) years was further extended to fifty (50) years. This means that the country’s marginalized electricity end-users will continue to benefit from the subsidy provided under the lifeline program.  Based on ERC records, for the first semester of this year, the lifeline program provided an average monthly subsidy of PhP541 Million to almost six million marginalized electricity end-users in the entire country. The actual discounts to end-users will depend on the lifeline program per Distribution Utility (DU) approved by the ERC.

The DOE is tasked to formulate and promulgate policy guidelines deemed necessary to ensure that the law and its IRR are being lawfully implemented. On the other hand, the DSWD is tasked to provide the list of qualified household-beneficiaries nationwide using a standard targeting system in order to ensure a uniform and objective procedure of identifying potential beneficiaries. The DSWD is also tasked to submit annual list of qualified household-beneficiaries under the 4Ps Act to the DOE and ERC.

The ERC is entrusted to determine the new lifeline level, provide criteria for qualifications of a marginalized end-user to avail of lifeline discount rates and monitor compliance to the implementation of the program, among others.

The event not only marks the ceremonial signing of the IRR but more importantly highlights the initiatives and collaboration among government agencies with the common goal of providing fair and equitable lifeline subsidy to electricity consumers especially those living below the poverty line.

The ceremony was witnessed by the ERC Lifeline TWG members, together with DOE Director Irma C. Exconde, DOE Assistant Secretary Mario C. Marasigan, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella, ERC Chief Energy Regulation Officers Alvin Jones M. Ortega and Nelson G. Canlas, ERC Acting-Director Legario L. Galang, Jr., ERC Commissioner Floresinda G. Baldo-Digal and ERC Commissioner Catherine P. Maceda.

 


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