The Department of Energy (DOE) is eyeing the reduction of the country’s power rates by tapping into the Malampaya fund to answer for stranded costs and debts, which consumers shoulder.
“We have to exert more effort to reduce systems loss in order to lessen the cost of delivery of power to electricity consumers. On our part, we are looking at Malampaya fund to compensate the stranded cost and stranded debts, which are being passed on to consumers. We have to prioritize the welfare of our consumers,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement.
Royalties from the Malampaya natural gas project can be used for energy-related projects. Cusi said that his agency will gear towards the protection of Filipino consumers.
“We will therefore exhaust all efforts to ensure access to adequate, affordable and reliable electricity as a recognition of the primary importance of power in enhancing the quality of life of all Filipinos, especially those living in the far-flung areas of the country. We can certainly accomplish our goals if we all work together to create the change we aspire to have,” he said.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has expressed its support in reducing power rates.
“We will fully support any DOE initiative aimed at reducing electricity rates and will implement national government policies consistent with our mandate to set the rates and protect the interest of the consumers,” ERC chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said.
Salazar said that the ERC is finding ways to guarantee that only just and reasonable costs were reflected in consumers’ electricity bills.
The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. previously filed a petition to recover an estimated P27.7 billion of the National Power Corporation’s (Napocor) stranded debt portion of the universal charge, in order to reduce power costs.
“The ERC is studying the case meticulously and with a lot of caution since the petition is for pass-on charges. The case will have to be evaluated on the basis of reasonableness and affordability,” Salazar said.