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PIA Press Release

SOCOTECO II okays P500 "Pantawid Kuryente" subsidy

General Santos City (18 November) -- The South Cotabato Electric Cooperative II (SOCOTECOII) okays the one-time P500 subsidy as mandated by Pres. Arroyo's "Pantawid Kuryente: Katas ng VAT" program.

The P500 power subsidy will be released effective this November, the Socoteco Information Office announced. But it stressed no cash will be given out.

Before the qualified consumer of SocotecoII can get the aid, a credit memo has to be signed first before the subsidy is given effective November 2008 billing. Contrary to its form of release in Metro Manila, the P500-subsidy will be offset in the consumer's respective electricity bill until fully utilize. No cash will be given out, the information office added.

Some 50,000 qualified consumers have already been notified to receive said subsidy. Most of these consumers were coming from the three districts of General Santos City, it said.

The "Pantawid Kuryente: Katas ng VAT program" was launched "when prices of basic commodities rose to one of the highest in history," thus government implemented the program to aid ordinary Filipino family survive the crisis.

SOCOTECOII is one of those having lowest rates in the country. Ordinary households will enjoy this subsidy for, more or less, two months. With the stringent budget for Christmas celebration, the P500 subsidy will surely go a long way, Socoteco said.

The program, a government's direct assistance to the poor will benefit some four million families nationwide that consume a maximum of 100 kilowatt hour a month of electricity.

President Arroyo earlier pointed out that "the program aims to give back to the poor the benefits reaped from the implementation of the expanded value added tax (EVAT), specifically from the 12 percent VAT on petroleum products."

The program intended for the poorest of the poor in the country or the "lifeline users" is expected to help them cope with the rising rates of electricity in the country. (PIA SarGen/SocotecoII) [top]

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