The Department of Energy (DOE) wants to use the Malampaya fund to cover the financial obligations of the National Power Corp. (Napocor) of P37 billion.
This is after the Energy Regulatory Commission allowed the Power Sector and Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. to collect the debt from consumers over a nine-year period amounting to P0.0265 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) under the universal charges (UC) component.
“We need a law that will allow us to tap the energy resource development fund by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) so paying Napocor’s debts won’t passed on to consumers,” DOE undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.
He added that the agency has been asking Congress to pass a law that will allow other uses of the Malampaya fund.
Right now, there are bills both in the Senate and the Lower House that supports DOE’s call.
“We have ongoing discussions with Congress. There is still time to pass the law and cover PSALM’s pass-on cost to consumers,” Fuentebella said.
Last month, ERC allowed PSALM to recover P12.88 billion through a universal charge for stranded cost (UC-SCC) and P24.2 billion through the UC for stranded debt from end-users.
Before taking office, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said that the agency is eyeing the use of the Malampaya funds to pay for Napocor’s stranded costs and debts instead of passing it on to the consumers.