The bill that seeks to grant a nationwide franchise to Solar Para Sa Bayan guarantees cheap and clean electricity in barangays nationwide, said Deputy Speaker and the principal author of the bill Arthur Yap.
He said that the franchise will supply huge areas of the country with 24/7 power that could eventually address the communities needing electric service.
He appealed to those disapproving the bill to not use the outdated Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) in stopping new players from providing electric service with green technologies to poor communities, which is in line with the Duterte administration’s target for national electrification by 2022.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises led by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez had provided safeguards in granting the SPSB franchise before it had approved the bill for plenary consideration, Yap explained.
However, several Congressmen headed by Reps. Michael Romero (1Pacman Partylist) and Lito Atienza (BuhayPartylist) object to the franchise bill.
They said the granting of SPSB franchise shows a wide range of benefits that are unfair to other electric cooperatives working in the country.
Yap said that the bill includes the non-exclusivity of the franchise and the prohibition of its sale, lease, and transfer.
“In fact, the bill clears the way for other new players to apply for their own non-exclusive franchises,” Yap told Manila Bulletin
“It is a measure specifically designed to break the existing monopolies of traditional utilities that have otherwise fallen behind in improving the quality of their service,” he added.
Over 100 lawmakers supported the franchise bill; from 33 original co-authors, to over 70 other lawmakers that showed their support.
The said bill does not violate any existing franchises of distribution utilities and electric cooperatives as their franchises are not exclusive.