MALAPIT NANG MAISABATAS: Murang Kuryente bill to be signed “next week” – Sen. Gatchalian

System loss charges may soon be removed from electric bills

The Murang Kuryente bill is set for “ratification” next week after the measure was approved by the Senate and House of Representatives.

The legislation, known as House Bill 8869 and Senate Bill 1950, aims to reduce power rates by as much as P1 per kilowatt hour (kwh), and remove stranded contract cost and debt under the universal charge.

“Approved na ‘yung bicam, so ita-transmit na namin ‘to for ratification and next week, this coming week, ma-ra-ratify na namin ‘to (The bicameral conference committee approved it, so we will transmit it to the two chambers for ratification maybe by next week),” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Energy Committee, was quoted as saying in a Business World report.

The government’s share from the Malampaya fund will pay for the stranded contract costs (SCC) and stranded debts (SD), missionary electrification, and environmental charges of the National Power Corporation, as well the feed-in-tariff allowance.

The SCC and SD are currently passed on to consumers through the Universal Charge.

Under the bill, pass-on charges will be paid using the P207-billion Malampaya fund, saving consumers around P0.84 per kWh.

Gatchalian said that once the bill is signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, its implementation and effects will be felt “around September.”

“We gave a time period of 90 days to draft the IRR (Implementing Rules and Regulations) so from there ay makikita natin na ang bababa na ang presyo ng kuryente (we expect power prices to fall),” he was quoted as saying in the report.

Other energy bills filed during the 17th Congress were Anti-Obstruction Power Lines, electric cooperative resiliency fund, energy efficiency and conservation act, and electric virtual one-stop bills.