GUIMELCO waives power bills of lifeline consumers

The Guimaras Electric Cooperative (GUIMELCO) launched on Saturday the Pantawid Liwanag Program which aims to waive power bills of lifeline residential consumers in the Province of Guimaras.

This program aims to provide assistance to marginalized sectors in the province amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of the government’s call to provide assistance to the poor.

This program will cover lifeline consumers of GUIMELCO whose consumptions will not exceed 25 kilowatt-hours (kWh) for the billing month April 2020.

“This means that our consumers who have 25kWh or less consumption for the April 2020 reading will no longer have to pay their bills,” GUIMELCO General Manager Shirley Laurente said.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a IATF conference that electric cooperatives will shoulder the 50kWh consumption of lifeline consumers across the country.

But in the case of GUIMELCO, only 25kWh consumption is the cap of lifeline consumption set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“The lifeline cap for every Electric Cooperative is different and GUIMELCO is only given up to 25kWh margin for its lifeline consumer,” Laurente added.

The program will start on April 2020 billing which has a due date in May 2020. Qualified lifeline consumers will be given a coupon will serve as a basis and proof that they no longer need to pay their electricity bills.

Laurente also emphasized that this is only effective on April 2020 billing, thus, any arrears should still be paid by the lifeline consumers.

The program is also supported by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (PHILRECA), National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (NAGMEC), One EC Network Foundation, Inc. and Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC).

It has also been noted that GUIMELCO extended its power bills due date for March 2020 billing in the last week of April 2020.

“With this simple effort, we hope that we can mitigate the impact brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in the province in the Spirit of cooperativism,” Laurente said.