Province to get share of electricity sales from 5 power firms

AS SOON as the trust fund accounts are ready, five energy-generating companies may start remitting shares from total electricity sales directly to the Cebu Provincial Government.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with power firm executives to allow the Province to directly take its share of total electricity sales from the First Toledo Solar Energy Corp., Korea Electric Power Corp., Bantayan Island Power Corp., Global Business Power Corp. and Aboitiz Power Corp.

The move came after the Provincial Board authorized the governor to enter into a MOA with the energy firms for and on behalf of the Capitol.

A resolution on the matter was approved during the body’s second out-of-town regular session in San Francisco town, Camotes on Nov. 25.

“We hope this MOA signing will ease up and put in a more efficient manner of collection of share of the Province,” Garcia said in a Sugbo News report.

Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre assured that the trust fund accounts will be ready by Tuesday, Dec. 3.

After the MOA signing, Garcia questioned officials of the Department of Energy (DOE) 7 for allegedly asking the Capitol to submit an annual work plan (AWP) before it can start accepting its shares.

DOE 7 Officer-in-charge Jose Rey Maleza had written a letter to the governor on the matter.

Garcia said it would be difficult for the Province to formulate an AWP since it has yet to determine how much it will receive from the power-generating firms.

The DOE, she added, also has yet to compute how much it needs to remit to the Capitol from shares accrued in the past years.

“Do not make us plead for it,” Garcia said.

On Aug. 7, 2018, the DOE issued Circular 2018-08-0021, which amends the implementing rules and regulations of Rule 29 (a) of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001. The circular follows Section 5 (i) of Republic Act 7638 (Department of Energy Act of 1992). The law mandates the DOE to devise ways and means of giving direct benefits to the province, city or municipality, especially the community and people affected and equitable and preferential to the region that hosts the energy resource and or energy-generating facility.

Section 6 of the circular states that the financial benefit shall be allocated in the following manner: 25 percent of one centavo per kilowatt-hour (kwh) for development and livelihood fund (DLF); and 25 percent of P0.0025/kWh for reforestation, watershed management, health and for environment enhancement fund (RWMHEEF).

The DLF and RWMHEEF shall be allocated in the following manner: community and people affected (five percent), host barangays (20 percent), host municipalities or cities (35 percent), host provinces (30 percent), host indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (five percent) and host region (five percent). (RTF)