blog image
  • By : Delmar O. Cariño
  • Jul 20, 2020

Board lauds PHILRECA's Pantawid Liwanag 2

The BENECO's Board of Directors welcomed on Tuesday the implementation of the Pantawid Liwanag 2, a cash dole out program of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Assn. (PHILRECA) which is intended to provide relief to member consumer owners (MCOs) who are still reeling from the adverse impact of the pandemic.

The directors took note of the electric cooperative's task to immediately coordinate with the MCOs who will be qualified as beneficiaries of the program.

Under the program, PHILRECA will download to every electric cooperative the amount of P300,000. From the said amount, each qualified MCO beneficiary will be entitled to P3,000 which he or she will disburse this way P1,500 will be used to pay his or her electric bills while the other P1,500 will be brought home for food and groceries.

The MCOs, upon receiving the P3,000, will immediately give one half to the EC to pay his current and future bills should there be an excess. They will use the other half to buy their household needs.

The board directed the management through the Institutional Services Department that the low income residential and lifeline consumers must be prioritized for the cash subsidy on keeping with the instructions of PHILRECA.

Lawyer Esteban Somngi, board president, said the program shows how PHILRECA has become sensitive to the plight of MCOs. The program will surely help a lot of BENECO's MCOs, he said.

The electric cooperative, through Melchor Licoben, officer-in-charge general manager, earlier wrote PHILRECA of BENECO’s intention to avail of the program since PHILRECA will only partner with the ECs that have explicitly expressed their willingness to join the program.

The Pantawid Liwanag 2 comes after the implementation of the first Pantawid Liwanag program that saw BENECO sacrifice the amount of more than P12 million in subsidizing the electric consumption of lifeline and residential consumers.

In April, the electric bill of those who used 30 kilowatt hour (kWh) were made free while those who consumed 31 kWh to 100 kWh were given a discount of P100. In May, those who consumed P101 kWh to 200 kWh were also given a P100 discount.

The program, initiated by Licoben, benefitted more than 150,000 consumer accounts.

BENECO, through its Institutional Services Department (ISD), was designated by PHILRECA as the Pantawid Liwanag 2 coordinator for the electric cooperatives in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

The other ECs in CAR are the Kalinga-Apayao Electric Cooperative (KAELCO), Ifugao Electric Cooperative (IFELCO), Mountain Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO) and Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO).

Lawyer Janeene Colingan, PHILRECA general manager and executive director, said the program would cost a lot in terms of the other programs already listed by PHILRECA for the rest of the year.

PHILRECA is the national organization of the country’s 121 ECs.

"But we will push through with the program since we want to help pour MCOs. The prolonged pandemic continues to affect millions of our MCOs and PHILRECA's help, even though modest, can at least help alleviate their difficulties during these times" she said.

Colingan said the roll out of Pantawid Liwanag 2 will compel the suspension of the giving of medical assistance to the employees of ECs and their MCOs.

The ISD, though the Community Relations Office, is currently looking for beneficiaries. BENECO has to qualify 93 MCOs for the program.