Free electricity for March and April for low-income households

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 15) — Power distribution utilities will no longer charge households whose monthly electricity use fall below 50 kilowatts per hour for the March and April billing periods, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases announced on Wednesday.

Task force spokesman Karlo Nograles said in a televised briefing that the assistance aims to provide relief for 3 million consumers of electric cooperatives across the country whose primary sources of income and livelihood have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Aside from the free supply, the National Electrification Administration announced last week that 90 electric cooperatives in Luzon had granted a 30-day grace period on electricity bills whose due dates fall within the duration of the Luzon-wide quarantine. They also cancelled penalties, interests and charges for late payments.

No water and power interruption

Nograles also assured there would be adequate supply of water in Metro Manila and electricity in Luzon during the enhanced community quarantine on the island.

“The National Water Resources Board has given 46 cubic meters per second to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System until April 30 to ensure the continuous supply water in Metro Manila,” the official said.

This is equivalent to an allocation of about 4000 million liters per day, the NWRB said.

The Department of Energy, meanwhile, said its current megawatts capacity “is greater than the actual peak demand  ... in Luzon.”

On March 17, Presidente Rodrigo Duterte ordered most people in the northern Philippines, except for those rendering vital services, to stay at home.

The lockdown is intended to stem the spread of COVID-19. It was originally scheduled to last until April 12, but was extended until 11:59 p.m. of April 30.