SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
On 07 March 2018, the Bicameral Conference Committee on the Electric Cooperatives Calamity Fund, under the able stewardship of the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy, Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Sen. Sherwin "Win" T. Gatchalian, approved the final version of the disagreeing provisions of the House and Senate versions (HB No. 7054 and SB No. 1461, respectively) on the Electric Cooperatives Emergency and Resiliency Fund (ECERF), with Representatives Uybarreta, Roque, Batocabe, Salon and Romero (comprising the House of Representatives panel) and Senators Binay and Zubiri (comprising the Senate panel).
This bill seeks to provide support and assistance to ECs adversely affected by a fortuitous event or force majeure in order to immediately restore electric service, provide a streamlined process to avail of financial assistance, and adopt other plans that would help ECs become more resilient and prepared in facing natural disasters in the future.
On the average, about twenty (20) typhoons visit the Philippines every year, not to mention other catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These disasters bring about destruction of facilities and disruption of electric service in the affected areas. As the distribution utilities try to repair their facilities to bring back electricity at the soonest possible time, oftentimes they have to rely on costly financial instruments--- which will ultimately be shouldered by the member-consumers in the area. With the passage of the ECERF into law, Congressman Velasco is optimistic that Electric Cooperatives damaged by natural disasters will be able to recover faster and resume operations without burden to the consumers.
SOURCE: Office of Rep. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco