Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Friday asked local government units to grant a grace period in the collection of taxes and other fees from the power sector.
“The DOE earnestly seeks the consideration of all local government units to allow a similar grace period and other related mechanisms in the collections of applicable taxes, fees and dues from energy facilities in their respective jurisdictions,” Cusi said in an advisory dated April 16 relative to the extension of the enhanced community quarantine to April 30.
The department issued an advisory on March 18, providing for, among others, the deferment of obligations and dues for 30 days after April 14 for the benefit of electricity consumers.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the extension of the ECQ over Luzon until April 30 and directed all concerned agencies to continue implementing existing guidelines relative to the ECQ during the period of extension.
The Energy Department in response issued several directives to guide the electric power industry participants.
Cusi said all electricity consumers should be provided a grace period to pay their bills falling due during the original and extended ECQ periods without interest, penalties, fees and charges.
“For this purpose, the accumulated electricity bills falling due during the ECQ shall be amortized in four equal installments, payable in the first four months following the end of the ECQ,” the energy chief said.
The department said that for all public and private corporations in the power sector, all obligations falling due during the original and extended ECQ should be given a similar grace period without interest, penalties, fees and charges.
“Likewise, four months amortized payment shall be allowed for all unpaid balances of obligations during the said period, without interest, penalties, fees and charges,” Cusi said.
The four-month amortization will apply to payments due to the National Power Corp., the National Transmission Corp., the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. including power bills and rate adjustments.
It also covers payments due to fuel/resource suppliers of generating facilities including coal, oil, steam supply and natural gas and payments due to independent power producers.
Also covered are payments of universal charges as administered by PSALM provided that the deadline of PSALM to disburse the UC to beneficiaries will also be given grace period by the same number of days and payments to Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines of total trading amounts and other charges.
The department said the payment of the feed-in tariff allowance was suspended for another billing period while the arrangement for the payment of contestable customer obligations with their retail electricity suppliers falling due during the original and extended ECQ will be according to their negotiated agreements.
“However, to lessen the impact and help manage the cash flow in the energy supply chain, the DOE reiterated its call or the immediate and proportionate remittance of payments received ahead and within the due dates to the respective creditor and supplies,” Cusi said.
“Finally, we call on those electricity consumers who are capable to pay to help cushion the impact to the energy supply chain by continuing to pay their bills within the original due dates,” he said.