House approves bill allowing Malampaya fund to finance energy infrastructure

By , on June 1, 2015


MANILA — The House Committee on Energy on Monday approved a measure authorizing the use of the Malampaya fund to finance the rehabilitation or replacement of energy infrastructure damaged or in danger of being damaged because of natural and man-made calamities.

The House committee on Energy, chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, unanimously approved the substitute bill which seeks to amend the antiquated Presidential Decree 910.

Currently, several measures seek to amend Presidential Decree 910, which governs the use of Special Funds, including the accumulated royalties from the Malampaya gas-to-power facility.

Under the bill, the Malampaya fund may be used to finance the rehabilitation, or replacement of energy infrastructures, including but not limited to, generation, transmission and distribution facilities in preparation for and response to natural and man-made calamities.

Further, the Energy Development Board, which is composed of officials from departments of Finance, Energy and Trade and Industry, are required to submit an annual report to the Joint Congressional Power Commission and the President detailing the fund releases used to finance the repair and replacement of energy infrastructures damaged by calamities.

According to Umali, committee data show that the Malampaya Fund amounted to Php167.2 billion as of March 2015.

The bill also aims to electrify or energize all barangays in the country.

The Malampaya fund was created by late President Ferdinand Marcos through PD 910 in 1976 “for energy self-sufficiency” following the oil crisis due to the Middle East war.

Aside from Umali, other authors of the substitute bill include Representatives Winston T. Castelo (Quezon City); Ben Evardone (Eastern Samar); Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna Party-list); Luzviminda Ilagan (Gabriela Party-list); Francisco Ashley Acedillo with Gary Alejano (both Magdalo Party-list); Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro);

Maximo Rodriguez, Jr. (Abante Mindanao Party-list); Edgardo Masongsong (1-CARE Party-list), Antonio Tinio (Act Teachers Party-list), Emmi de Jesus (Gabriela Party-list), Fernando Hicap (Anakpawis Party-list), Terry Ridon (Kabataan Party-list), Carlos Isagani Zarate (Bayan Muna Party-list); and

Mercedes Cagas (Davao del Sur); Napoleon Dy (Isabela), Lani Mercado-Revilla (Cavite); Aleta Suarez (Quezon); Michael Angelo Rivera (1-CARE Party-list); Rodel Batocabe (Ako Bicol Party-list), Emil Ong (Northern Samar); Alfredo Benitez (Negros Occidental), Gustavo Tambunting (Paranaque City and Jesus Sacdalan (North Cotabato).