MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law seeking to reduce electricity rates by allocating the government share from the Malampaya natural gas project in Palawan for the payment of debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC).
Duterte signed Republic Act 11371 on August 8, a copy of which was released on Tuesday.
Under this measure, P208 billion from the net government share of the Malampaya funds will be allocated to pay for the stranded contract costs and stranded debts of the NPC that are being passed on to consumers.
Once implemented, the law’s main author Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said it will translate to a P172 worth of savings for a household consuming an average of 200 kilowatts per hour every month.
Under the law, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will provide a timely release of the amounts allocated and appropriated to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation in accordance with its debt and independent power producer payment schedule.
In the event the stranded costs, stranded debts, and anticipated shortfalls in the course of the payment of such liabilities are fully paid before the exhaustion of the amount allocated in the law, the remainder will be utilized to finance energy resource development and exploitation programs under Presidential Decree 910.
Duterte has also signed the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act (Republic Act 11361).
The new law aims to keep all power line corridors free of any obstructions that may disrupt the supply of electricity from power plants to consumers.
It prohibits the planting of tall growing plants, the construction of hazardous improvements, and the conduct of any hazardous activities within the power line corridor.
“[W]e will now be able to put in place a mechanism that will allow for the responsive maintenance and rehabilitation of transmission, sub-transmission, and distribution lines, which would prevent outages and ensure continuous supply of electricity,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
“The measure is timely for the rainy season when powerful typhoons barrel through our country.”
Duterte signed RA 11361 on August 8. (GMA News)