The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has enjoined all electric cooperatives (ECs) in the country to implement a “no disconnection” policy for low-income households or lifeline consumers amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a memorandum dated February 10, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong advised the 121 ECs to fully observe the directives issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the extension of “no disconnection” policy for lifeline consumers.
The DOE issued an Advisory on February 5, 2021 directing all distribution utilities, including ECs, to “implement a no disconnection policy due to non-payment of bills falling due by March 2021 for all electricity consumers whose consumption level are within the lifeline rate set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for the DU’s franchise area.”
This will apply to all unpaid regular bills and installment payments relative to various advisories of the DOE and the ERC. In addition, all power consumers who are still unable to pay their bills may coordinate with their DUs to enter into socially equitable and manageable payment terms to prevent eventual disconnection of electricity services.
“In this regard, all ECs are advised to fully observe the implementation of the (DOE) directives,” Administrator Masongsong said.
The NEA chief also enjoined the electric co-ops to post the DOE Advisory on their respective websites and consumer welfare help desks for the information of their member-consumer-owners (MCOs).
The DOE Advisory came following President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the Energy department’s recommendation to extend the “no disconnection policy” to assist the marginalized electricity consumers.