THE Malampaya gas drilling project has generated a total of P170 billion in revenues for the government since it started in 2000, but the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is clueless as to where a P130-billion chunk of it went, according to Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto.
Recto on Monday said there were no documents to show which government agencies benefited from the P139 billion or how it was used. He said he wanted to find out what the Arroyo and Aquino administrations did with the fund.
Based on records, the administration of president Gloria Arroyo spent P25 billion of Malampaya funds, while the present administration already spent P15 billion, or a total of P40 billion since the project started.
“I have been studying the Malampaya fund collection since 2010 and there were no documents that will show the P130 billion. Maybe it was used to fund other projects,” he said.
Recto said the DBM needs to come up with a system that will properly trace the funds because the government expects to collect around P30 billion annually from the Malampaya project until 2030.
He has introduced several proposals that aim to reduce power rates or help the Armed Forces of the Philippines or both, using the gas fund.
Senate Bill No. 465 seeks to reduce power rates by using the Malampaya funds to pay debts of the National Power Corporation (NPC) that are being passed on to power consumers.
In his proposal, Recto wants to allocate the net national government share from Malampaya to pay the NPC’s Stranded Contract Costs (SCC) and Stranded Debts portion of the Universal Charge (UC).
“Instead of using Malampaya Fund to finance non-energy related programs and projects of national government agencies, the Fund would now directly benefit power consumers,” Recto said.
If enacted, the measure will provide timely and substantial relief to power consumers. In February the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) decided to set the UC for the recovery of NPC’s SCC at P0.1938/kWh, which became effective in March.
In his SB 466, Recto sought the channeling of portion of the proceeds from Malampaya to finance the AFP modernization program.
“The emergence of internal and external security threats has been putting the capabilities of our armed forces to the test. As we stagger to protect our borders in international territorial disputes, our forces struggle to address internal security threats that continue to persist,” Recto said.