Meralco calls out Congress vs Leviste’s solar power franchise
Is this big business fearing this small fry?
Manila Electric Company (Meralco) came running to submit a position paper to the House of Representatives to caution solons against approving the franchise of the Solar Para sa Bayan Corporation (SPSBC), a solar energy firm owned by Senator Loren Legarda’s son Leandro Leviste.
The top power distributor run by Manny Pangilinan submitted an 18-page letter and position paper to the House Committee on Legislative Franchises on the swift passage of the proposed SBSBC franchise.
The paper was written by the renowned SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan law firm for Meralco.
“It is to be highlighted, however, that the proposed franchise does not limit its scope and application only to unserved or unenergized localities; rather, the proposed franchise appears to permit SPSBC to conduct the allowable activities in the proposed franchise in any area in the Philippines, whether unserved or not,” the paper read.
Meralco also cautioned about the wording of the measure, as it “appears to permit SPSBC to engage in all the parts” of the power industry chain — beyond the scope of Meralco’s own capacity.
“There is no legal necessity to grant the proposed franchise to SPSBC since there is an existing regulatory framework that allows any entity to participate in the provision of electricity in unserved or unenergized areas,” Meralco added, noting that the blanket coverage of the franchise is “unreasonable and discriminatory.”
“As the proposed measure will affect the entire electric power industry, we hope that the Committee can defer the approval of the same until such time that the views of all stakeholders have been considered.”
How will lawmakers take this? Stay tuned.