Poor Filipino households are spared from electricity disconnections as President Rodrigo Duterte directed distribution utilities to forgo cutting supply to those who cannot pay yet, a high-ranking Cabinet official said Thursday.
Duterte approved during a Cabinet meeting Wednesday night the recommendation of the Department of Energy to extend the "no disconnection" benefit for zero to low-income households, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.
"Makakahinga na po ang ating mga kababayan na mababa o walang kita. Hindi po kayo mapuputulan ng kuryente. Hindi po kayo pababayaan ni Presidente," Nograles said.
While zero to low-income households are equivalent to 32% of the customer base of power companies, Nograles said data from the energy department showed that they only account for 3% of sales which means that the relief measure is "very doable."
"The President readily agreed given that electricity is a basic necessity our countrymen cannot live without," Nograles said.
Struggling household budgets due to the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted the Duterte administration to execute relief measures at the start of the year to help families cope.
Recently, President Duterte approved an executive order for a 60-day cap on the prices of pork and chicken meat in the capital region.