Approximately P2 billion is needed to restore power areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda, and the part of the cost is likely to be passed on to consumers.
Energy Department Secretary Jericho Petilla said in an interview on Wednesday P1
billion will go to repairing transmission lines, and the balance will be spent on power distribution.
“There’s no choice but to pass it on to consumers,” Petilla said.
The legality in tapping the Malampaya fund to restore power in the region had been proposed as a way of sparing the consumers from a rate increase.
Petilla said there’s a chance the Malampaya fund may not be tapped since the law
specifies that the fund be only for the development, exploitation and exploration of energy resources.
“I said we’ll look into using the Malampaya fund especially for NGCP’s
[National Grid Corp.] restoration [activities]because 70 percent of
total cost is covered by insurance and 30 percent will be passed on to
customers,” he said.
“So instead passing on the 30 percent to consumers, it will be
shouldered by the government through the Malampaya fund,” he added.
He urged consumers in Luzon to conserve energy because the power supply that will be saved from the region will be sent to Visayas.
While power transmission is being restored, the energy department has deployed 145 small power generator sets (gensets) to the affected areas.
Sixty gensets were delivered to Leyte, 45 to the Samar provinces, 30 to Roxas City Capiz, 10 to Iloilo and five to Coron, Palawan.
The DOE will reserve one genset for Department of Trade and
Industry for its office in Tacloban City.
The DOE also also provided the Department of Health two gensets for medical operations and equipment.
Each genset has a capacity of 2 to 3 kilovolts ampere (kva), enough to
power government centers and other important establishments.
MADELAINE B. MIRAFLOR