House panel approves bills extending electricity lifeline rate under EPIRA law

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 18 2020 04:13 AM

MANILA - The House energy committee on Thursday approved a consolidated bill extending the lifeline rate under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

Two bills were consolidated to amend Section 73 of the EPIRA measure, which was set to expire in 2021.

With the amendments on the provision of the lifeline rate, it will be extended to 20 more years expiring in 2041.

A lifeline rate is a socialized pricing mechanism granted to marginalized sectors or low-income market end-users identified by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Senate Committees on Energy and Public Services early this month also tackled a measure seeking to extend the lifeline subsidy in electric rates for the marginalized. 

Senate Bill 1583, introduced by Energy Committee chair Sherwin Gatchalian, said the lifeline rate is “the subsidized rate given to low-income captive market end-users that cannot afford to pay at full cost."

Like the House's push for amendments on the provision of the rate, Gatchalian is pushing for another 20-year extension.