Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian yesterday asked the Departments of Finance (DOF) and of Energy (DOE) to come up with the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the “Murang Kuryente Act” (Cheaper Electricity Act), which has been signed into law by President Duterte last August.
In a statement, Gatchalian said the issuance of an IRR will “unshackle every Filipino household from the burden of paying National Power Corp. (NPC) debts through the universal charge for stranded debts (UC-SD) and stranded contract costs (UC-SCC) incorporated in their monthly electricity bill.”
He said the President signed the Act last August 8 so the IRR should have been issued last Nov. 27, the 90-day period required to craft the IRR.
“While we understand that the DOE and DOF need to conduct consultations and address some complexity in the law, time is of the essence here. We want all Filipinos to feel and receive tangible benefits from the Malampaya fund now. That’s why we are urging the DOE and DOF to issue the IRR as soon as possible so that there will be no new universal charges collected from every household,” he added.
The Murang Kuryente Act aims to cut electricity rates by allocating a portion of the net national government share from the Malampaya natural gas project for the payment of stranded contract costs and contract debts.
Stranded contract costs refer to the excess of the contracted cost of electricity under eligible independent power producer contracts over the actual selling price of the contracted energy output.
Stranded debts refer to any unpaid financial obligations of the NPC which have not been liquidated by the proceeds from the sales and privatization of its assets.
An estimated P208 billion proceeds from the net national government share from the Malampaya fund will be used to pay for the UC-SCC and UC-SD.