Senator Win Gatchalian, who championed the passage of the Murang Kuryente Act, said the much awaited Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law recently issued by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) can mitigate the impact on consumers expecting to pay accumulated electricity bills once the quarantine period is lifted.
Gatchalian said this simply means that after the 15 days publication of the IRR, power consumers won’t have to pay additional charges for their electricity consumption or an additional P0.86 per kilowatt hour for Universal Charges for Stranded Contract Costs (UCSCC) and Stranded Debts (UCSD).
The senator estimated that in the case of a typical household consuming 200 kwh per month, this means savings of P172 a month or P2,064 in a year.
UCSCC and UCSD are debts of the erstwhile National Power Corporation (Napocor) passed on to all electricity end-users.
Sections 2.4 and 9.1 of the IRR state that upon the effectivity of the IRR, no new universal charges for stranded contract costs (UCSCC) and stranded debts (UCSD) will be collected.
“To think that the Murang Kuryente Act has already signed by the President in August 2019, we have been prodding the DOE and the DOF for this IRR for so long to help ease the burden of power consumers. Now that we have the IRR, it’s going to be a welcome respite for many consumers who will be faced with mounting electricity bills after the government started temporarily suspending electricity payments due to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March,” said Gatchalian.
Currently, each Filipino consumer pays P0.0428 for UCSD which reflects on the electricity bill, according to Gatchalian, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
But with the Murang Kuryente Act legislating the use of P208 billion from the Malampaya fund for the payment of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation’s (PSALM) stranded contract costs and stranded debts assumed from the Napocor, Gatchalian said consumers will be seeing more reduction in electricity costs.
The Murang Kuryente Act is based on a bill authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto.
“The signing of the IRR of the Murang Kuryente Act is a testament of the collaborative efforts of the legislative branch, the executive branch, and power stakeholders to fulfill our promise of bringing cheaper and stable electricity to all Filipino households,” said Gatchalian.
“We want to assure consumers that the Murang Kuryente Act is just the start of the many reforms that we are working on in the energy sector,” Gatchalian concluded./Stacy Ang