Biz groups back new Meralco franchise to ensure stability

Rodriguez: Biz groups back new Meralco franchise to ensure stability

/ 03:21 PM June 07, 2024

TAGUM, Davao del Norte — The decision of two prestigious groups to endorse the proposed new Manila Electric Co (Meralco) franchise means the business sector wants stability, Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said on Friday.

Rodriguez made this statement on Friday after the Makati Business Club (MBC) and Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) backed his proposal for a fresh 25-year Meralco franchise.

According to Rodriguez, securing the new franchise means stability in the power sector, which is crucial since Meralco handles Metro Manila’s distribution area.


“The support of these widely respected business groups for the renewal of Meralco’s franchise for another 25 years, as proposed in our House Bill No. 9813, is a step in the right direction,” Rodriguez said.


“It means that the business community is for safeguarding energy supply availability and security ahead of the expiration of Meralco’s legislative franchise in 2028,” he added.

Rodriguez said it also shows that the business sector wants to protect its investments, to ensure that jobs still exist — and for other stakeholders to get assurance that energy would be supplied to key industries.

Last Wednesday, the MBC said they are supporting the renewal of Meralco’s franchise because it would ensure reliable and accessible electricity for households and businesses in the Philippines’ key economic regions.

Meralco’s franchise covers the National Capital Region and nearby provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and some parts of Pampanga, Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon.

Franchise expiring in 2028

MBC said NCR alone contributes 41.4 percent of the services sector’s economic output.

“However, it is important to note that the Philippines boasts a liberalized energy market, devoid of government subsidies. In this context, a 2023 report by the International Energy Consultants has shown that Meralco’s distribution rates remain fair and reasonable, particularly given prevailing inflation rates,” MBC said in the letter, as relayed by Rodriguez.


“Given the significant role played by Meralco in serving households and critical sectors such as services and industry, we urge your office to prioritize reliable energy provision to sustain economic growth and attract investments. We therefore endorse the renewal of Meralco’s energy franchise, while also recognizing the need for targeted adjustments where necessary,” it added.

READ: MBC backs Meralco franchise renewal 

MAP, meanwhile, said Meralco has made many significant contributions to nation-building because the company has an almost 100 percent electrification rate in its franchise area.

READ: Big business group backs Meralco franchise renewal 

Rodriguez said the letters were sent to the House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises, headed by Parañaque 2nd District Rep. Gus Tambunting.

Rodriguez has been adamant about granting Meralco a new franchise, saying that it will be good for the Philippine economy as it projects an image that the country is business-friendly.

READ: Meralco new franchise would be good for PH, says Cagayan de Oro lawmaker

However, other lawmakers, particularly those from the Makabayan bloc, said that hearings for Meralco’s new franchise should not be rushed because many issues have to be reviewed.

READ: Salceda: New Meralco franchise good for economy; Makabayan wants no rush 

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said that she hopes the committee on legislative franchises would be able to study it properly first.

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Meralco’s franchise is set to expire by 2028.

TAGS: franchise, Meralco

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