‘Kuryente’ cash grant to cushion power rate hikes


1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE) Party-list Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta has called on the Department of Finance (DOF) to recommend to President Rodrgo Duterte to certify as urgent the “Pantawid Kuryente” bill.

Certifying the bill as urgent could give it the chance of passage this summer, when power rates are expected to rise with the seasonal increase in demand for electricity during the dry months, said 1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy (1-CARE) Uybarreta as he also called on the House Energy Committee to expedite approval of his House Bill 3350.

“I brought this Pantawid Kuryente bill to the attention of the Department of Foreign when the TRAIN Law was still going through Congress. It remains a sound idea and can be funded with the surpluses from revenues resulting from the TRAIN Law,” said Uybarreta.

A “Pantawid Kuryente” cash grants to the poorest families can help cushion them from the impact of electricity price increases, he said.

“This bill will benefit the low income households, especially the various member-consumers of the different Electric Cooperatives (ECs) nationwide,” Uybarreta added.

Uyarreta filed HB 3350 in September 2016, just months after the start of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Pantawid Kuryente program embodied in HB 3350 would be a direct subsidy to households attended to by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. A budget of P500 million is proposed in the bill with the DOF and DSWD determining the appropriate amount each poorest family can get and other implementation details.

p: wjg