by Azer Parrocha
MANILA — Consumers can expect lower electricity rates after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the “Murang Kuryente Act.”
The new law (Republic Act 11371) which was signed by Duterte on August 8, 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.
It recognizes the need to “protect the public interest by ensuring the provision of reliable, secure, and 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 contract costs and stranded debts,” the law read.
Under the law, PHP208 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).
It also notes 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 shall ensure the timely release of the amounts allocated and appropriated to the PSALM under 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. (PNA)