Pia lauded 5% senior citizen discount for electricity and power rates by the ERC

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, January 7, 2011-The 5% senior citizens' discount for electricity and power rates by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and major water distribution utilities announcement yesterday was lauded by Senator Pia S. Cayetano, who is the principal sponsor in the Senate of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 (Republic Act 9994) which laid down several benefits for the country's elderly to include 5% discount for water and power rates by ERC and major water companies, the provision exempting citizens elderly from the 12% expanded value added tax benefiting them to enjoy 20% discount for senior citizens'.


“This should give our seniors much-needed relief, even as toll fees, public utility fares and prices of basic goods continue to increase. But these benefits, while well-deserved by our lolas and lolos, should be enjoyed responsibly and must not be abused under any circumstances," she cautioned,” the Senator said where she urged the elderly to fully comply with the requirements to be able to enjoy the discount, and for utility firms to step up their information drive about the discount guidelines to make the application process simpler, faster and easier to understand.


ERC guidelines showed that the senior citizens may avail of the 5% discount if their household monthly electricity consumption does not exceed 100 kilowatt-hours and if the installed electricity meter is registered under the name of the senior citizen, adding that upon approval, distribution utilities like Meralco and electric cooperatives are mandated to give discount for senior citizens.


Senior citizens may enjoy the 5% discount on water provided that the service connection is classified under residential or semi-business category, registered in the name of the senior citizen, and monthly basic consumption of the account does not exceed 30 cubic meters according to Maynilad-the one which provided water and wastewater services for the West Zone while Manila Water Company is in charge of the East Zone which reportedly been implementing the 5% discount to qualified beneficiaries since October 2010. (Jason de Asis)