Lawmakers on Tuesday, May 22, shelved the draft bill on recoverable system loss for further review after noting its provisions are similar to a resolution already being implemented by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
AKO BIKOL party-list Rep. Rodel M. Batocabe suggested that the energy committee, chaired by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, provide instead “a bill promoting efficiency among distribution utilities (DUs) rather than have a negative bill… for reducing system loss.”
The consolidated House bills (HBs) 942, 2297, and 6341, prepared by the technical working group chaired by 1-CARE party-list Rep. Carlos Roman Uybarreta, sought the gradual reduction of system losses of electric cooperatives (ECs) and private distribution utilities (PDUs).
“Instead, we provide for a policy to promote ‘yung efficiency ng mga distribution utilities and incidental lang ‘yung pag-fix ng rate ng system losses,” Mr. Batocabe added.
The unnumbered draft substitute bill gradually reduces the distribution feeder loss cap for large PDUs from as much as 9.5% previously to 6.5% in 2019 to 5.5% in 2022 or 7% in 2019 to 6% in 2022, depending on which cluster they belong. Meanwhile, the loss cap for ECs will be lowered from 14% to 12% in 2019 to 10.25% or 8.5% in 2023.
Last May 7, the ERC has published Resolution No. 10 series of 2018 which also outlined the reduced distribution feeder loss cap, segregated per categories. Similarly, distribution feeder loss cap for PDUs will be decreased to 6.5% in 2018 to 5.5% in 2021 and ECs to 12% in 2018 to 10.25% or 8.25% in 2022 onwards. The resolution is currently in effect but new rates will apply in the next billing cycle (May 8 to June 8) this year.
PBA party-list Rep. Mark Aeron H. Sambar, for his part, said ERC should be allowed to do its job as the government body tasked to implement regulations involving the electricity industry.
“So if we allow the ERC to do [its] job… and see if the anybody’s complying, then we can also review the bill but if we see that there is no compliance, then we will push for this bill so that the DUs will comply based on the law,” Mr. Sambar said. — Minde Nyl R. Dela Cruz