THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) has again asked all electric cooperatives to offer a grace period and staggered payment methods for electricity bills due during the lockdown.

NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong issued Memorandum No. 2020-047, endorsing the Energy department’s advisory on power sector bill grace periods.

“All electric cooperatives are enjoined to abide by the directives, specifically the implementation of 30-day grace period and staggered payment for unpaid bills, particularly those that fall due within the community quarantine period,” Mr. Masongsong said in a press release on Friday.

The Energy department on Sept. 23 ordered this extension of grace periods and staggered payment schemes after the government retained the declaration of a state of calamity due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Republic Act No. 11494, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II), requires the electric power value chain to offer a minimum 30-day grace period and allow installment payments of electricity bills falling within the period of a community quarantine.

The first Bayanihan law had also required grace periods and staggered payments.

The DoE appealed to local government units to also provide payment extensions for the applicable taxes, fees, and dues by owners of energy facilities.

Presidential Proclamation No.1021 extended the state of calamity declaration throughout the country for a year, or until Sept. 12, 2021.

NEA covers 121 electric cooperatives in the country. — J.P. Ibañez