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Landbank earmarks P1.5B for ‘anti-bill shock’ lending program

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines on Wednesday said it launched a new lending program that aims to cushion electricity consumers from paying higher bills arising from increments in power distributors’ operating costs amid the dry season.

In a statement, Landbank said it allocated P1.5 billion for the "ANTI BILL SHOCK" lending Program.

The “ANTI BILL SHOCK” stands for “Assistance to Narrow and Trim down the Incremental power cost increase via Bridge financing Initiative of Landbank to Lower and Spread out HOt summer-triggered monthly Consumption on Konsumers’ Electricity.”

The program was launched by Landbank on April 14, 2023.

Under the ANTI BILL SHOCK program, Landbank said it will provide financing to electric distribution companies at concessional rates with no additional spread on their working capital.

The short-term loan facility, the lender said, will also require borrowers to implement an anti-electric bill shock program to protect their respective clients from the expected increase in electricity bills.

The bank said the arrangement will enable the distribution companies to spread out the incremental increases in their customer’s billings by up to nine months without passing on the borrowing cost to consumers.

“Landbank aims to provide consumers more breathing room to pay their energy bills by helping prevent a price surge on their monthly expenditures. We are also committed to boosting the capacity of energy players to provide sufficient, accessible and reasonably-priced supply of electricity nationwide,” said Landbank president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo.

Landbank said power distributors may loan up to 80% of the incremental increase on the working capital requirement during the summer months, but should not exceed the repayment capacity of the distribution utilities or three times the average billings of its power suppliers. —VAL, GMA Integrated News