MANILA -- The Murang Kuryente bill that was approved by the bicameral conference committee will cut down the cost of electricity without exhausting the government's financial resources, a lawmaker at the House of Representatives said on Friday.
Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, a member of the bicam panel that approved the measure Thursday, pointed out that the bill is envisioned to clear huge debts of the National Power Corp. (NPC) being charged to the monthly electric bill of consumers by using the Malampaya funds.
The chairman of the House Committee on Energy said under the proposed measure, some PHP208 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 the NPC.
Stranded contract costs refer to the excess of NPC's contracted cost of electricity with independent power producers (IPPs) over the actual selling of the output.
On the other hand, stranded debts refer to any unpaid financial obligations, which have not been liquidated by the proceeds from the sales and privatization of NPC assets.
Payments for stranded contract costs and stranded debts are covered through the universal charge, a pass-on rate to consumers that is also used to finance missionary electrification and the environmental fund.
Once implemented, this will translate to a savings of PHP172 per household who consumes an average of 200 kwh (kilowatt per hour) per month. At least 16 million households will stand to benefit from the measure, Velasco said.
More importantly, this will lighten the burden of Filipinos from the high cost of electricity without hurting the government coffers, he said.
Velasco said his colleagues at the House have already assured that they will immediately move to ratify the proposed Murang Kuryente Act when session resumes on May 20 after the mid-term elections.
Source: Philippines News Agency