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Lifeline subsidy extension a DoE legacy

To date, rural electrification under the Duterte Administration has reached 94.5 percent from 90.7 percent in 2016

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With less than a year left in office, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said he will leave the agency with longer extension of the lifeline subsidy for poor households.

The Department of Energy (DoE), Cusi pointed out, has always put the welfare of the Filipino consumers at the forefront of its programs and policies.

Republic Act (RA) 115521, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on 27 May 2021, amended section 73 of the Electronic Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA) law to extend the subsidy from 2021 to 2051.

“We have been consistent with our mandate to put consumer welfare at the forefront of our policy strategies. Thus, the DoE took unprecedented steps that will help consumers, especially in the midst of health and livelihood concerns,” Cusi said in his report to President Duterte on 2 September 2021.

Apart from this, he said the DoE has pushed for the approval of RA 11371 or Murang Kuryente Act. Under the law, proceeds from the Malampaya natural gas project were allotted to relieve consumers from the burden of having to pay for the stranded contract costs and stranded debt items in their electricity bills.

To date, rural electrification under the Duterte Administration has reached 94.5 percent from 90.7 percent in 2016.

The DoE is currently working closely with the National Power Corporation and the National Electrification Administration in bringing light to far-flung and off-grid areas in Lubang Island, and in the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.

Cusi also mentioned in his report the implementation of the landmark legislation on Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EE&C) meant to help consumers save on energy costs and contribute as well to the global effort against global warming and climate change.

“As we seek to firmly establish EE&C as a way of life here in the country, I also call on the active participation from our stakeholders and consumers on how they could be catalysts of EE&C in their own ways,” Cusi said.

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