President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Republic Act No. 11371 or otherwise known as the “Murang Kuryente Act” on August 8, 2019. It was made public on the 13th of August, 2019 by the author of the bill, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. Under the new law, the government will use its share in the Malampaya Natural Gas Project in Palawan amounting to Php208B in paying for the debts of Napocor (National Power Corporation).
At present, the debts of Napocor are being shouldered by the consumer under the “universal charge” reflected on the monthly bill. This is one of the reasons why the bill of consumers has become a burden because of the big charges. According to Senator Gatchalian, Php172 will be deducted from the bill of consumers who consume 200-kilowatt hours and above per month. It’s a common knowledge that the electric bill in the country is unjustifiably high and has been a long-running issue. This will be a big relief, especially for the low-income earners. It will mean having additional money to bring food to the table.
Meanwhile, the President has also signed the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act which aims to remove all the hazards near the power lines and posts. This is to ensure that there will be a continuous flow of electricity and also for the safety of everyone. Under the new law, no one will be allowed to plant tall trees, build structures, and do any activity under the power lines to avoid having power outages. The law also authorizes the power lines operators and owners to ask help from the local government officials, AFP, and PNP in ensuring that this law is followed. This law will prevent the consumers from allowing their trees and plants to reach the power lines which sometimes cause destruction, especially during typhoons.