The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has welcomed the signing into law of the Murang Kuryente Act and the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11371, or the Murang Kuryente Act, on August 8 seeking to allocate the government’s net share from the P208-billion Malampaya Fund to settle the debts incurred by the National Power Corp. (Napocor). 

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong hailed the enactment of the legislation, saying that removing the stranded contract costs (SCCs) and stranded debts (SDs) of Napocor in the power bills would result in a lower cost of electricity. 

“The Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act will save our transmission and distribution lines and possibly minimize damages in times of calamities.”

Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, SCCs and SDs are passed on to power consumers as part of the “universal charge” in the monthly electric bill. 

SCCs, as defined by EPIRA, refer to the excess of the contracted cost of electricity under eligible contracts over the actual selling price of the contracted energy in the market.

SDs, on the other hand, refer to any unpaid financial obligations of Napocor which have not been liquidated by the proceeds from the sales and privatization of its assets.

President Duterte also signed Republic Act No. 11361, otherwise known as the Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act, on August 8 which aims to reduce power outages in the country. 

Under the new law, planting of tall growing plants, constructing hazardous improvements, and conducting of any hazardous activities within the power line corridor are prohibited. This is to ensure continuous and uninterrupted supply of electricity to all power consumers.

Masongsong said the measure will help improve the power reliability in the country, as majority of the interruptions or outages recorded in the rural areas are caused by vegetation. 

“The Anti-Obstruction of Power Lines Act will save our transmission and distribution lines and possibly minimize damages in times of calamities and, of course, realize greater power reliability and system efficiency,” the NEA chief said. 

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