16M homes to benefit from ‘Murang Kuryente’ bill if it becomes law – Velasco
MANILA, Philippines — “Sixteen million households” will stand to benefit from lower power rates once the bicameral conference committee-approved “Murang Kuryente” bill is enacted into law, Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco said Friday.
On Thursday, the Senate-House contingent approved the proposed law that seeks to clear huge debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC) that is being charged to the monthly electric bill of consumers.
The bill only needs to be ratified by both chambers of Congress once it resumes session on May 20 before it could be transmitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his consideration.
Once enacted into law, some P208 billion from the net government share of the Malampaya fund will be allocated to cover payment for the stranded contract costs and stranded debts of NPC.
Veloso claimed this would “translate to a savings of P172 per household who consumes an average 200KwH per month.”
“This will lighten the burden of Filipinos from the high cost of electricity without hurting the government coffers,” the chairman of the House committee on energy added.
According to the lawmaker, stranded contract costs are the excess of NPC’s contracted cost of electricity with independent power producers (IPPs) over the actual selling of the output, while stranded debts refer to any unpaid financial obligations which have not been liquidated by the proceeds from the sales and privatization of former’s assets.
Payments for stranded contract costs and stranded debts, Velasco explained, are covered through the universal charge – a pass-on rate to consumers that is also used to finance missionary electrification and the environmental fund.
He added the bicam version provides that net government share of the Malampaya fund be transmitted to a special trust fund that would be administered by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation. PSALM is the government corporation created through Section 49 of the Republic No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act that inherited all of NPC’s obligations and stranded contract costs.
Velasco and 1-CARE Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta are the principal authors of the proposed law’s House version, while Senators Ralph Recto and Sherwin Gatchalian authored the version in the Senate.