By Myrna M. Velasco – April 3, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has officially reported to Congress that the Malampaya fund has a total balance of P198.567 billion, as reckoned from all latest disbursements.
In the February 15, 2018 correspondence of Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno to the House Committee on Energy chaired by Congressman Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, the budget department had detailed out the allocations made from the Malampaya fund since this gas field project became the country’s cash engine in 2002.
Gas production from the Malampaya field started latter part of 2001, hence, its cash contribution to the State-managed special fund kicked off in 2002.
As culled from data furnished by the DBM, the last major disbursements from the Malampaya fund had been in 2013 – primarily in the purchase of modular generator sets (gensets) for Mindanao.
That particular allocation amounted to P4.5 billion and channeled through the National Electrification Administration (NEA). Referencing on the timeline, that was at the tenure of former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla during the Aquino regime. The year 2013 had been the height of power supply crisis in Mindanao grid, but as previously reported in media, there had been no massive uptake on the Department of Energy-underpinned rollout of gensets at that time.
The other fund disbursements in 2013 had been those funneled to the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – primarily for the purchase of BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a frigate of the Philippine Navy.
The budget department further noted that “no releases” were made from the Malampaya fund in the last four years – or from years 2014 to 2017.
Major allotments were also carried out in 2012 through state-run National Power Corporation (NPC) and NEA as conduit-agencies in program enforcements.
Disbursements to NEA that year amounted to P1.108 billion for Barangay Line Enhancement and Sitio Electrification Projects; and another R814 million for Sitio Electrification Project.
State-owned NPC was also earmarked P3.0 billion for its payment of a short-term loan facility with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), fund that it supposedly utilized for its missionary electrification program.
In prior years, the other agencies that had benefited massively from the Malampaya fund had been the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), DOE, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Philippine Atmospheric , Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the National Housing Authority.
Allocations were likewise done for the Department of Transportation and Communications (now split into agencies namely the Department of Transportation and the Department of Information and Communications Technology) chiefly to cover its maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) for petroleum, oil and lubricants for its aircraft, search and rescue vessels, rubber boats and land mobility units.