The Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi signed on April 16 a memorandum mandating all involved power sector participants including private and public corporations, local government units (LGUs), and consumers to continue implementing and following the guidelines on the deferment of payments due to the extension of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until April 30, 2020.
“We at the Department of Energy will continue to adopt all necessary measures to help our community partners, stakeholders, and power consumers during and after the ECQ. Having access to power services is extremely critical during this national public health emergency, so we hope that these guidelines will allay at least some of the worries of the members of the energy family,” Cusi was quoted in a statement.
Among the salient features of the memorandum include:
- provision of a grace period for the payment of consumers’ electricity bills without interests, penalties, fees, and charges falling within the initial and extended ECQ period. The payments shall be amortized in four equal installments, payable in the first four months following the end of the ECQ;
- provision of a similar grace period for all public and private power sector corporations on the payments and obligations due, universal charges, total trading amounts and other relevant charges falling within the original and extended ECQ period.
This includes payments due to the National Power Corporation, National Transmission Corporation, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Power Sector and Liabilities Management Corporation, Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines, as well as the fuel/resource suppliers of generating facilities and independent power producers;
- the suspension of the payment of the Feed-in Tariff allowance for another billing period; and
- the payment of contestable customers’ obligations with their retail electricity suppliers during the original and extended ECQ shall be according to the negotiated terms of both parties. Nevertheless, the Energy Department encourages all concerned parties to adopt a similar grace period scheme.
The DOE also called on LGUs to consider extending a grace period in collecting applicable taxes, fees, and obligation dues.
The DOE earlier issued an initial memo to power sector corporations about the deferment of payments and obligations due for 30 days after the end of ECQ period was originally set on April 14, 2020.