The Department of Energy (DOE) on Thursday said it will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to endorse to Congress the passage of a bill expanding the coverage of the Malampaya funds.
During the House of Representatives’ briefing on the DOE’s proposed PHP2.6-billion budget for 2018, DOE Undersecretary and spokesperson Wimpy Fuentebella said legislation was needed to allow the use of Malampaya funds to finance several interconnectivity and rural electrification projects.
Fuentebella said the total collection from the Malampaya gas facility was at PHP241.37 billion, while only PHP47.74 billion had been utilized.
The Supreme Court ruled in November 2013 that the fund should be reserved for energy resource development and exploitation activities.
Fuentebella said, if a law is passed by Congress, the fund could be used to finance the construction of the following projects: Visayas-Mindanao Interconnection Project, Bohol-Cebu Interconnection Project, and Antique-Mindoro Interconnection Project.
The USD4.5-billion Malampaya gas-to-power project is a joint undertaking of the Philippine national government and the private sector.
It was spearheaded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and developed and operated by Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. on behalf of joint venture partners Chevron Malampaya LLC and the PNOC Exploration Corporation. (PNA)