President Surangel Whipps Jr. signed into law yesterday, a bill changing Palau Energy Administration (PEA) to Palau Energy & Water Administration (PEWA) adding on the mandate to regulate and approve tariffs for water and wastewater set by Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC).
The bill is said to be part of the policy loan for PPUC required by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Upon the bill becoming law, PPUC will be able to access the remaining $5 million of the $10 million policy loan approved for PPUC.
The PEWA will be responsible for approving tariffs set for energy, water, and wastewater. The office will be under the Ministry of Finance rather than the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.
“These are technical, require calculation…so we want a dedicated agency looking at this and sharing the information with OEK. This is an existing agency, not a new creation and being efficient, we have added water and sewer to their responsibility,” said President Whipps of the expansion of PEA to PEWA.
The RPPL11-18 law had two riders, the 1.6 million dollars subsidies for PPUC and the 1 million dollars for CROSS Act. The 1 million for CROSS Act will allow for the extension of the employment program under CROSS up to the end of May, according to Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr.