A MEMBER of the House of Representatives has filed a bill to charge a P1 tax on residential electricity bills to fund environmental and disaster management programs.

Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte Jr. filed House Bill 1245 or the Piso Para Sa Kalikasan Act, which charges a Climate Tax on Electricity (CTE) per one kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)

“CTE shall be imposed on the monthly electric power consumption per electric utility bill of every residential user of electric power utilities in CO2 emission generated from electricity consumed,” according to the bill.

Mr. Villafuerte said that major sources of carbon dioxide emission in the country are from “burning fuels for electricity, transportation, heat, among others.”

According to the bill, any residential user with a monthly electricity bill not exceeding 60 kilowatt-hours or those who use any form of renewable energy are exempt from the CTE.

The collected taxes will be exclusively used for programs that will assist communities adapt to climate change and reduce disaster risk, and protect environmental quality and wildlife.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace S. Barbers called for a House inquiry on “redundant” charges by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

Mr. Barbers filed House Resolution No. 00228 urging the committee on energy to “dig into the essence of Meralco’s enumerated power charges with the end of providing the public a better understanding of what they are paying for every month.”

Mr. Barbers said that the inquiry should also discuss “system loss” charges, a means for generators to recover the cost of power lost due to technical and non-technical system losses.

“Technical loss is fixed and quantifiable. But system loss due to electricity theft and pilferage and which are being charged to the power consumers is unfair. We the consumers are paying a high price from an electric energy stolen or pilfered by other people,” Mr. Barbers said in a statement Sunday. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras