Issue of May 5, 2019

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JCPC approves revised rules on host benefits
by PNA release

The Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) approved the revised rules on the financial benefits to communities hosting the country’s power plants.

The JCPC, chaired by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco, approved several amendments to the implementing rules and regulations of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), as contained in the twin circulars of the Department of Energy.

The first department circular, DC 2018-03-005, prescribes the guidelines recognizing the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples in their ancestral domain and access to their financial benefits as host communities under ER 1-94 Program and Rule 29 (A) of the IRR of the Epira.

The second circular, DC 2018-08-0021, provides for the amendments to Rule 29 (A) of the IRR of the Epira.

“In behalf of the Senate, after reviewing thoroughly the proposals of the DOE and the job of the said proposals, definitely we want to empower and to give the benefits as quickly as possible to the local government units,” Gatchalian said.

He said a total of P6 billion outstanding benefits have yet to be released to LGUs because of red tape and complications in the process.

According to the DOE, one of the major changes introduced is the direct remittance of financial benefits to host communities for their immediate utilization.

Streamlining the release of funds will eliminate the bureaucratic process, which hampers the socio-economic development of the communities hosting the power plants.

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