The Department of Justice (DOJ) is backing a proposed legislation of Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza to give senior citizens discount in monthly electricity bills.
In a three-page legal opinion, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said House Bill 3169, which grants five-percent discount on electricity consumption of senior citizens by further amending Republic Act 9994 (Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010), is legal.
“Anent the grant of a monthly five percent discount to the first one hundred kilowatt hours of electricity thus consumed, we are of the view that the said measure is inclusive of a wider socio-economic echelon of senior citizens. This department, therefore, fully supports the rewording of Section 4 (C) of Republic Act 9994,” the document reads.
The legal opinion was issued after a request was made by Biliran Rep. Rogelio Espina, chairman of the House Committee on Population and Family Relations of the House of Representatives.
“A quick technical study on the proposed discount is also suggested to be conducted especially on the impact of a 50 peso discount per month that a senior citizen consumer could avail of vis-a-vis the economics of scale generated by the electric companies from the majority of its subsidizing consumers.”
The DOJ chief, however, asked Congress to gather inputs from stakeholders on how to restructure the senior citizen discount for consumed electricity without having to pass the cost of the discount to other consumers.
She cited a suggestion from Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe to involve in the consultation process representatives from electric cooperatives of the Philippines.