May 24, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Marcos urges DOE , ERC to make electricity rates affordable

ACTIVE on the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) urged electricity distribution utilities to tap the Anti Bill Shock Lending Program of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) to make electricity rates affordable for consumers.

DOE Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said President Marcos has ordered them to work hand-in-hand with other government agencies and stakeholders to ease up the burden of the people from the expected increase of electricity costs amid the rising temperatures and growth of energy demands in the country.

“As we confront the challenges of rising temperatures and increased energy demands, we are working closely with other government agencies to ease the burden of Filipino households from the expected surge of electricity costs. Landbank’s involvement in this effort is crucial, highlighting our unified stride towards safeguarding the welfare of our citizens,” Lotilla said.

ERC Chairperson and CEO Monalisa C. Dimalanta said the lending program presents a “win-win situation” for both the electricity distribution utilities and the consumers.

“It helps ensure sufficient and affordable energy access nationwide while protecting Filipino households from electricity bill shock during the summer season when power consumption is expected to surge,” Dimalanta added.

Under the lending program, the Landbank provides financing to distribution utilities at concessional rates, enabling them to spread out the incremental increases in their customers’ billings by up to nine months without passing the borrowing cost to consumers who cannot afford to pay at full cost.

The ANTI BILL SHOCK Lending Program was launched in April 2023. It stands for “Assistance to Narrow and Trim down the Incremental power cost increase via Bridge financing Initiative of LandBank to Lower and Spread out Hot summer-triggered monthly Consumption on Konsumers’ Electricity.

LandBank President and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz said “the ANTI BILL SHOCK Program forms part of LandBank’s commitment to advancing the country’s energy sector by making credit more accessible to power distribution companies and other players in the industry. We are poised to forge deeper collaborations within the sector, advocating for the interests of both energy providers and consumers.”

Each power distributors may loan up to 80 percent of the incremental increase on their power generation and transmission charges, but not to exceed the repayment capacity of the distribution utilities or three times the average billings of its power suppliers.

Borrowers are required to implement their own “anti-bill shock program” to protect their respective clients from the expected increase in electricity bills. The program is available any time of the year.

LANDBANK’s record showed that it has already approved PhP450 million in loans to electricity cooperatives under the program.