AWAY PULITIKA, APEKTADO ANG CONSUMERS: Bicol power franchise bill withdrawn


Camarines Sur 1st district Rep. LRay Villafuerte accused Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. of the 2nd district for allegedly planning the withdrawal of a bill mean to grant a franchise to the Bicol Light and Power Corporation.

The said bill was House Bill (HB) No. 5564 which was supposed to grant power franchise to Bicol Light and Power Corporation, aiming to set up and maintain a power distribution system for consumers in the towns of Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Bula, Nabua, and Iriga City.

Villafuerte said the measure was passed by the House of Representatives on third and final reading with a 221-0 vote almost two years ago, and was subjected to several public hearings by three Senate committees.

Villafuerte claimed Andaya was the one behind the “illegal withdraw” of the bill, which Villafuerte principally authored.

Andaya had just stepped down as the Majority Leader and chairman of the powerful Rules Committee.

“(Andaya) resorted to one more instance of power-tripping in recalling HB 5664 on the sly without the expressed and formal consent of a majority of his peers and in gross violation of House rules and procedures,” said Villafuerte.

The ex-Majority Leader’s decision was done “in his mad quest for personal vendetta against the Villafuertes,” he said.

Andaya is currently running for the governor post of Camarines Sur in May, which makes him an opponent of Governor Migz Villafuerte, Villafuerte’s son.

“It is unfortunate that Andaya had upended House rules anew by recalling another House-approved bill on his own as one of his final despicable acts as Majority Leader, just days before he relinquished his premier post of Majority and Rules Committee chairman,” Villafuerte said.

Andaya now acts as Appropriations Committee chairman.

Andaya’s arbitrary withdrawal of bills that has been approved on final reading is “an utter waste of public funds and resources,” as well as a violation of House rules.

Villafuerte highlighted that passing a law is a tedious process that requires time, energy, and hard-earned money of Filipino taxpayers.

“The withdrawal of a bill without due notice or explanation way beyond the reglementary or required period for amendments by a congressman who was absent during the critical voting periods is a blatant disregard of the time, effort and resources of everyone.

“It is conduct unbecoming of a Representative whose own negligence and oversight, if not grave abuse of position, may set precedent to a practice prone to abuse,” he said.

The House approved the bill on third and final reading on May 29,2017 with 221-0 vote.

It was then received in the Senate on May 31, 2017. The Senate public services panel conducted joint hearing on this measure with the Senate committees on finance and energy on January 24, February 20, and September 18 last year.