Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives (ECs) are encouraged to utilize their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to provide electricity connection in relocation sites.
Department of Energy (DOE) spokesperson William Fuentebella said in a briefing yesterday that they are urging utilities like Meralco and other ECs to “exercise their corporate social responsibility by making direct connections in relocation sites for informal settlers and in depressed areas.”
“CSR, as we all know, is being undertaken by private companies for good will, to improve their public image. That’s why the Secretary (Alfonso Cusi) requested private DUs to use CSR in addressing the urgent needs of informal settlers, relocated families so they can have electricity connection,” DOE spokesperson Pete Ilagan said in the same briefing.
“But [funds used] in CSR are from savings. If they will recover this from customers, it will be ERC’s (Energy Regulatory Commission) decision whether to allow this expenses or not. ERC is well aware of this undertaking especially that this request of the secretary and we have the confidence that the ERC will be applying this as allowable expenses,” he added.
By providing electricity to relocation sites through CSR initiatives, no additional charges will be incurred, he said.
On Monday, the president urged companies to do this “to help avoid squatter-like conditions in relocation sites.”