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Surigao consumers to receive P500 power subsidy next month

Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative (SURNECO) consumers can now enjoy a P500 power subsidy this coming month of August through the government's "Pantawid Kuryente: Katas ng VAT" program for poor families that consume a maximum of 100 kilowatt hour a month of electricity.

SURNECO Gen. Manager, Engr. Danny Escalante in a radio interview said that out of 48,000 consumers, some 32,610 residential consumers are expected to benefit the said program starting next month.

Escalante explained that the subsidy was based on the month of May bill and the said deduction will be credited to the consumers' electric bill and will appear in the beneficiaries' billing statements starting this August.

Escalante also said SURNECO received a total of P16,000,000 subsidy for this program from the National Electrification Administration (NEA).

It maybe recalled, the power subsidy program was launched by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last June to give back to the poor the benefits reaped from the implementation of the expanded value added tax (EVAT), specifically from the 12 percent VAT on petroleum products.

And on June 12, 2008, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and NEA signed a Memorandum of Agreement wherein the Department has downloaded P500 million to NEA for distribution to the electric cooperatives.

The NEA has also issued the implementing guidelines regarding the implementation of the said program to 119 electric cooperatives and likewise, has started releasing the subsidy to the cooperatives. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)

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