BAYAN MUNA WARY OF MALAMPAYA SUBSIDY FOR POWER RATE HIKES
Urges Investigation of Billion Peso Rise in Missionary Subsidies in Large Off-Grid islands
Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate today expressed caution in the recently passed substitute bill by the Committee on Energy that will supposedly reduced electricity rates by allocating the net national government share from the Malampaya Natural Gas Project to pay the stranded contract costs and stranded debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC).
“This in effect will just circumvent the law governing the funds and divert the Malampaya funds so that the executive thru Napocor (NPC) can use it for their purposes,” said Colmenares.
“Para tuloy hinayaan lang natin na lustayin ang Malampaya funds ng ganun na lang.Lalo pa kapag inover value nila ang stranded cost ng Napocor.While it is good that we want to lower the rate of electricity but corporations should not be the ones to benefit from the taxpayers money,” added Colmenares.
Bayan Muna Rep. Zarate, meanwhile, urged the various government energy agencies, particularly the Commission on Audit (COA), to investigate the alarming rise in the government subsidies for the missionary areas amounting to multi-billions a year.
“We are calling on the Department of Energy, the Energy Regulatory Commission, the National Power Corp., and the National Electrification Administration and the COA to urgently look into the 300% increase in missionary subsidies in larger islands still served by the Napocor from only P3.5 Billion in 2015 to P14.13 Billion in 2020,” he said.
“That is a jump of P10.13 Billion in 5 years in islands like Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Catanduanes, Tablas, and Romblon where power use grew only 34%.
In the other large islands like Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Busuanga, Bantayan, and others already served by new power providers or NPP’s, the missionary subsidy was about the same at P3.7 billion in 2015 and increased to P4.76 Billion by 2020 or an increase of 28.6% over five (5) years and average of 5.72% per year. The average increase in the Napocor areas is 60.6% per year for the same period,” added the progressive solon.
“These alarming numbers were culled from the Missionary Electrification Development Plan for 2016 to 2020 that we were able to secure from the Department of Energy,” according to the Bayan Muna Congressman.
“The DOE report showed that the average missionary subsidies for islands served by the private IPP’s was P4.70 per kwh in 2015 and P4.28 per kwh in 2020. On the other hand, the islands still served by National Power Corp. showed an average subsidy of P13.00 per kwh in 2015 to P15.91 per kwh in 2020,” said the Davao-based solon.
“Bakit sa halip na bumaba ay lalong tumaas ang subsidy? Baka dito lang mapunta ang Malampaya funds kung sakali,” he opined
The missionary subsidies are charged to the electric consumers nationwide as a Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification or UCME. It was P0.0454 per kwh in 2010 and increased to P0.1561 in 2015. Napocor had asked for an increase to P0.1948 per kwh.
In an island by island sampling of the missionary subsidies from the DOE data, the islands served by NPC have the highest missionary subsidies per kwh for 2020.
Occidental Mindoro P18.29 per kwh, Marinduque P17.60, Tablas P13.72, Romblon P12.27, and Catanduanes P11.47 per kwh. These high subsidies are similar to the cost of subsidizing power in Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Basilan.
The lowest missionary subsidies appear to be served by private NPP’s for 2020. Bantayan 2.42 per kwh, Palawan Main P4.49, Oriental Mindoro P3.04, Busuanga P6.41 per kwh.
“We already filed House Resolution 2287 to look into this matter and we hope that the taxpayer’s money would not just go to unscrupulous groups and indivuduals,” ended Rep. Zarate.###