Many Filipinos have been dreaming of this moment; when the country will experience cheaper electricity cost. This became a reality when our dearest President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act (R.A.) 11371 or also known to be the Murang Kuryente Act last August 8, 2019.
R.A. 11371 or the Act reducing electricity rates by allocating 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 or Murang Kuryente Act for short, is what all Filipinos have been waiting for.
Under the bill, Filipino households will be experiencing cheaper rates and better electricity services.
What is the Malampaya Natural Gas project?
The idea of the new law is, for the Philippines to have lower electricity cost, it needs budget. The budget will be taken from the Malampaya Natural Gas.
It is the first (1st) oil and gas platform custom designed and built in the country. Moreover, it is one of the most successful Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the history of the Philippines.
Malampaya continues to fuel up to 30% of the total of the power needs of the country; in addition to that, it has contributed over USD 10 billion in government revenues.
Simply, the Malampaya project is a joint project between the Philippine government and private sectors.
The Murang Kuryente Act
This new law’s goal is to source shares of the Philippine government to settle obligations and debts to the National Power Corporation (NaPoCor). Before the act was signed into law, the amount is being charged to consumers on a monthly basis.
As per the law that would drastically lower electricity cost in the country, a total of P208 billion of the shares from the Net National Government from the Malampaya fund will be utilized; this, of course is to settle stranded debts and contract costs assumed by and transferred to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM). In pursuant to the Section 49 of the Republic Act No. 9136 or also known to be the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.
In the new law, it gave directive to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to ensure the appropriate time and amounts of the release of the funds to the PSALM accordingly. This shall be done through the debt and independent “power producer payment schedule.”
How does this translate to household usage?
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said that in estimation, households or any establishment that uses electricity who consume an average of 200 Kilowatt hours (kWh) in a month shall expect a staggering P172.00 of savings from their monthly recurring charges.
So, if you use double that amount, you get double the savings; to put it simply, for every 200 kWh, the cost would be P172.00 less.
Gatchalian was put to awe by what the decision is by our dearest President. He said that the decision to sign this into law is timely.
The measure is timely for the rainy season when powerful typhoons barrel through our country.”
The Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act
In addition to the signing of the law which will lower electricity cost, President Rodrigo Duterte also signed R.A. 11361 or also known as the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act.
This specific law will strengthen power lines; it disallows planting of tall plants and building hazardous and dangerous improvements that would cause power breakage.
Literally, it is the prohibition of conducting any hazardous activity in the vicinity of the power line corridor. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, author of this act, said that this will provide a reduction in power outages in the country.
So, residents are in for a treat. Not only do we get to enjoy lower electricity cost; we can also be assured that power outages will be less given that the reason is not because of natural phenomenon.
What do you think about cheaper and lower electricity cost in the country? Apart from the fact that everyone will be benefitting from it financially, it’s going to be a big jump in the power industry of our whole nation.