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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Bill to renew Meralco franchise ‘to signal economic stability’

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A bill has been filed at the House of Representatives seeking to grant a fresh legislative franchise to Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

The bill’s author, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, said the franchise renewal sends a strong signal of economic stability to potential investors, local and foreign.  

Rodriguez, a member of the House Committees on Energy and Economic Affairs, recently filed House Bill (HB) 9813 for the grant of a 25-year legislative franchise to Meralco—a measure that the lawmaker emphasized is necessary to build investor confidence in the country. 

Meralco’s franchise is set to expire in 2028. As the largest electricity distributor in the country, Meralco services 7.8 million customers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and select areas in Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon.  

Rodriguez said a legislative franchise should be granted to Meralco this early on to show the government’s commitment to achieving energy security.

“Renewing the franchise of Meralco will show potential investors that capital-heavy investments can benefit from long-term stability here in the Philippines as it is safeguarded by the government. This in turn will result in improved service and economic conditions for Filipinos in the long run,” Rodriguez said.

Compared to areas serviced by electric cooperatives, Rodriguez said faster development can be observed in areas serviced by Meralco.

“Meralco-powered areas have demonstrated rapid economic growth in the past decades compared to those serviced by electric cooperatives. On this basis alone, it is imperative for the government to sustain this development in support of our economic trajectory,” the lawmaker added.

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