A bill seeking to reduce electricity rates in the country has been approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is made possible through
net national share of the government from the Malampaya funds that can be used to pay for the stranded debts and stranded contract costs of the National Power Corporation(NPC).
The “Murang Kuryente Act,” or House Bill No. 8869, was approved on its third and final reading on February 4 by a vote of 171-6.
Malampaya funds to be used to settle debts
Previously, on January 30, Senate Bill No. 1950 passed the Senate on the third and final reading.
SB 1950, which was authored by Senator Ralph Recto, also aimed to allocate the unused funds from the Malampaya gas project of the government, estimated to be around P204 billion in total. This will be used to settle debts amounting to P244 billion by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), which will start to mature this year.
“This bill, I have been assured, complies with Presidential Decree (PD) 910 and the Supreme Court ruling on the matter. The
PD 910 requires the government to use
Eliminating universal charges
Senator Ralph Recto, principal author of SB 1950, amended the bill by proposing to scrape off un-itemized payables such as Universal Charges (UC) on the electricity bill of the Filipinos so that they will be provided with cost-saving electricity rates, especially to the poor families.
According to 1-CARE Representative Carlos Ramon Uybarreta,
Currently, the stranded costs and debts of the NPC are
Uybarreta told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the passage of the bill could result in a 57-centavo kilowatt-hour cut in electricity bills.
Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian, who sponsored the