Press Release
November 22, 2013


In light of the recent ruling of the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Malampaya fund, Senator Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said he is positive that the government can use the said funds to help restore power in areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

"Malampaya funds can now be used solely for electrification. It should benefit many barangays and sitios throughout the country that until now are not connected to the national electricity grid," Angara said in reaction to the SC decision that the Malampaya fund should be used exclusively for energy related projects and not "for such other purposes as may be hereafter directed by the President."

He said that in utilizing the fund, which now stood at P137 billion, the government should prioritize fixing the damaged transmission lines and restoring the energy system especially in calamity-hit areas.

"I am happy to hear that Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla and even President Aquino are considering tapping the fund for the power restoration in Visayas which reportedly will cost an estimated amount of P2 billion. Though they said they will still look into the legality of using the Malampaya fund, I don't think it violates the ruling of the high court," noted the neophyte senator.

The former Aurora representative also stressed the need to provide assistance to Central Luzon wherein electricity in several towns and cities were cut off by typhoon Santi early October.

The SC declared unconstitutional the President's use of the Malampaya fund in projects not related to energy as it violated the principle of "non-delegability" of legislative power since it allowed the use of the funds for other purposes.

The Malampaya fund, which represents the royalties collected from the natural gas project off Palawan, was primarily intended to finance energy resource development and exploration programs.

According to the Bureau of Treasury, the total amount deposited by the Department of Energy in the Malampaya fund from 2002 to 2013 amounted to P179 billion while total releases against it during the same period reached P42 billion, leaving a balance of P137 billion, which is available in the National Treasury.

Early this year, the government received $1.1 billion or more than P43 billion in revenue from operations of the Malampaya project in 2012 alone.

"Apart from power restoration in typhoon-hit areas, I urge the government to use these multi-billion funds in alleviating the power crisis in Mindanao. They should no longer suffer from recurrent power outages," Angara said.

He added that the lack of power supply has been hampering the region's development, and should be addressed and immediately resolved.

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