Senate OKs Murang Kuryente bill on second reading
MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Wednesday passed on second reading SB1950 or the Murang Kuryente Bill which will provide cost-saving electricity rates to consumers, especially poor families.
The bill, once enacted, will reduce electricity rates by allocating national government shares from the Malampaya funds for the payment of the stranded contract costs and stranded debts of the National Power Corporation (Napocor).
Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said the measure complied with Presidential Decree 910.
“This bill, I have been assured, complies with Presidential Decree (PD) 910 and the Supreme Court ruling on the matter. The katas ng Malampaya will be plowed back to an activity which is related to energy,” Recto, who originally authored the bill, said.
Presidential Decree 910 requires that government shares from service contracts agreements such as the Malampaya Fund must be used to finance energy resource development and exploration programs and projects.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, said using the Malampaya Fund to settle Napocor debts is based on the State’s policy to “protect public interest by ensuring the provision of reliable affordable supply of electric power to consumers.”
“Towards this end, the State shall implement policies and programs to ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity to consumers by minimizing the universal charges for stranded costs and stranded debts,” Gatchalian said.
Under the measure, the net national government’s share from Malampaya Fund will be remitted to a special trust fund which will be administered by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM). / gsg