Filipinos can expect lower electricity rates in their bills following President Duterte’s signing of the “Murang Kuryente” Act last August 8.
The new law (Republic Act 11371) allows the government to allocate a portion of the net national government share from the Malampaya natural gas project for the payment of the stranded contract costs and stranded debts. Furthermore, the new law recognizes the need to “protect the public interest by ensuring the provision of reliable, secure, and affordable supply of electric power to consumers.”
Soon, Filipinos Can Expect Lower Electric Bills with “Murang Kuryente” Law
Under the new law, PHP 208 billion of the proceeds of the net national government share from the Malampaya fund shall be utilized for the payment of stranded contract costs and stranded debts transferred to and assumed by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), as shared in a report by the PNA.
This means that NAPOCOR will no longer pass on the rates for stranded contract costs and stranded debts to the consumers, thereby easing the burden of costs shouldered by Filipinos in their monthly bills.
The newly passed law maintains that the State shall implement policies and programs to ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity to consumers by minimizing the universal charges for stranded contract costs and stranded debts.
Once implemented, a household consuming 200 kilowatts per hour every month can save at least PHP 172.
It also states that any remaining and future proceeds of the net national government share from the Malampaya fund over and above the amount indicated shall finance energy resource development and exploitation programs.
The Department of Budget and Management is the appointed lead agency which shall ensure the timely release of the amounts allocated and appropriated to the PSALM in accordance with its debt and independent power producer payment schedule.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the sponsor of the measure and chair of the Senate committee on energy, lauded the signing of the law stressing that it would ease the burden of Filipino consumers in paying their electricity bills.
In line with this, the president also signed the Anti-Obstruction Power Lines Act, which aims to keep all power line corridors free of any obstructions that may disrupt the supply of electricity from power plants to consumers.
Based on this new law, planting tall trees and setting up hazardous activities near the power line corridors will be prohibited.
The new set of measures aims to organize power supply management and budgeting in the country, which has been one of Duterte’s vision for the country since he took over Malacañang three years ago.