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Mumura ang kuryente! Duterte signs law to reduce electricity rates

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law allocating the government’s share in the Malampaya Natural Gas Project for the payment of the stranded contract costs and stranded debts of the National power Corporation (Napocor).

Republic Act (RA) 11371 or the Murang Kuryente Act spares the Filipino consumers from paying Napocor’s debts through the Universal Charge.

The law provides that the net national government share of P208 billion from the Malampaya Fund will be utilized for the government’s debt payments.

The Department of Budget and Management is directed to ensure the timely release of the amounts allocated and appropriated to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation in accordance with its debt and independent power producer payment schedule.

Meanwhile, Duterte also signed RA 11361 or the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act that seeks to ensure the continuous and uninterrupted flow of electricity.

The Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act penalizes those breaching right-of-way clearances around the power transmission lines, as well as, outlines the duties and responsibilities of power generation companies, distribution utilities and concerned owners and operators in the prevention and removal of any obstructions to the power lines, either on public and private property.

Violators may be punished with arresto mayor or imprisonment of one to six months or a fine of P50,000 or both at the discretion of the court for the first offense; prision correccional or imprisonment of six months to six years or a fine of P100,000 or both for the second offense; and prision mayor or six years to 12 years jail term or a fine of P200,000 for the third offense.

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