Renewal of MERALCO franchised pushed in Congress

Meralco Laguna Substation

House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Joey Salceda stated that extending the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) franchise for another 25 years would bring economic benefits.

Salceda had previously filed House Bill (HB) 9793 to extend the franchise of the major power distributor by 25 years.

In a report by Business Mirror, Salceda argued that MERALCO adhered to its franchise law and benefits both the economy and consumers.

MERALCO’s current franchise, under Republic Act (RA) 9209, is valid until 2028 and serves Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Pampanga, and Bulacan.

Salceda emphasized that MERALCO provides “superior service” compared to other electric cooperatives and distribution utilities (ECDUs), with minimal annual outages for the average consumer.

Salceda mentioned that if all ECDUs operated like MERALCO, the economy could gain an additional P201 billion annually in gross value added due to fewer outages.

He praised MERALCO’s strong financial health, which allows it to secure power supply agreements (PSAs) following competitive selection rules.

Salceda also noted MERALCO’s low system loss charges, attributed to its P220 billion investment over two decades to improve electric service.

He also cited that at least 29 municipalities and cities, as well as four provinces outside the franchise area, have shown interest in being served by MERALCO.

The bill also aims to expand MERALCO’s operational scope, a feature not included in the existing franchise law, RA 9209, enacted in June 2003.

HB 9793 states that MERALCO would be allowed to extend service to adjacent areas upon request from local government units, through a referendum or court directive.