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PIA Press Release

Sulu consumers set to avail power subsidy from PGMA's Pantawid Kuryente program

Jolo, Sulu (17 February) -- The Sulu Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SULECO) is set to release Php 5,613,500 power subsidy to lifeline consumers in Sulu. Among the municipalities in the province only energized town such as Jolo, Indanan, Patikul, Talipao, Parang, Maimbung and Luuk will avail the Pantawid Kuryente: Katas ng VAT Program of the national government.

In an interview with SULECO General Manager upon her return from the ceremonial signing with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in Manila, Ms. Peraida Akalal said, the program is a one-time P500 subsidy to the poorest sector of society to help them pay their electric bills.

She said recipients of this program are those residential consumers with consumption of maximum 100 kilowatt-hour and less or a maximum daily average consumption of 3.33kwh.

Ms. Akalal further said that the qualified consumers will be given credit memorandum stating that the amount of P500 shall be applied starting March 2009 and future billings.

"The amount shall be treated as advances which will be reflected in the consumers billing until the total subsidy has been fully accounted for," manager also said.

SULECO has more than 16,000 member consumers.

Based from the May 2008 billing status, there were 11,227 families are found to be qualified for the power subsidy. Of the 7 energized municipalities, Jolo has the biggest share with 5,506 qualified beneficiaries followed by Patikul with 2,808.

SULECO Board President Hadji Rogelio Asaali said that for this program, SULECO will receive a subsidy of Php 5,613,500 for the total number of qualified member-consumers.

NEA has already released the 80 percent of the total subsidy while the remaining 20 percent upon the liquidation of the first release.

It was learned that, aimed at cushioning the impact of the high cost of electricity and other prime commodities, the program is funded through the allocation of P2 billion from oil VAT collection of the national government.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Private Electric Power Operators Association (PEPOA) and NEA are implementing the program in areas covered by 119 Electric Cooperatives (ECs) and Private Investors-Owned Utilities (PIOUs) nationwide.

The General Manager said, SULECO will be coordinating with partner agency and local government units like the DSWD, local officials of target beneficiaries and the Provincial Government, to ensure the successful implementation of this program.

In an official statement issued by the provincial government, Gov. Abdusakur M. Tan said, that the national government initiatives is the manifestation of the strong confidence to local governance in the province.

"The people of Sulu will benefit and get a fair share from the Pantawid Kuryente: Katas ng VAT Program of the national government same with other provinces in the country", Gov. Tan said. (BIA-PPDO/PIA9-BASULTA) [top]

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