Lifeline rates extension up for House approval


A measure aimed at extending the mandatory implementation of lifeline rates for low-income consumers beyond 2021 is up for approval at the plenary of the House of Representatives.

This is after the House Committee on Energy, approved the consolidation of House Bills 7059 and 7341, which intend to extend the lifeline rate implementation. The combined bills intend to amend Section 73 of Republic Act (RA) 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Refofrm Act (EPIRA).

Section 73 of the EPIRA, enacted in 2001, provided for the implementation a lifeline rate good for 10 years from the law’s implementation and can be extended by law. RA 10150, enacted in 2011, extended EPIRA Section 73’s effectivity until 2021.

Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, chairman of the House energy committee, said the proposed measure would assure Filipinos access to continuous and affordable electricity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Velasco added this measure will particularly benefit many households that have members with work-from-home arrangements and those with online classes.