Meralco franchise split call decried

The Philippine Star
Meralco franchise split call decried
Electrical linemen conduct maintenance check on electric posts along BIR Road in Diliman, Quezon City on August 7, 2023.
Jesse Bustos / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) yesterday decried attempts in some quarters calling for the split of the franchise area of the Manila Electric Co.

In a statement, FPI chair Jesus Arranza called on those attempting to disparage Meralco to put a stop to what he said was a counterproductive act. 

Arranza also called on the national leadership to step in to stop the attack on a legitimate business enterprise, adding that it is sending shivers to the business community.

“The Federation laments this vicious attack against one of its members. This is not only counterproductive but against the principles of what we stand for, stability in the business environment. If there are issues against Meralco or any member of the energy industry, is it not the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission who should resolve this?” he said.

Early this month, several congressmen led by Rep. Dan Fernandez waged a scathing attack against Meralco for alleged violations in its weighted average cost of capital or WACC.

In defense, Meralco said the fair assessment of WACC is determined by the regulator.

“If the issue is WACC, shouldn’t it be that the issue must be dealt with by the Energy Regulatory Commission since the rate-setting function under the law is their responsibility and duty? Perhaps it is time to have a more sober discussion on this matter. We do not need moves that rattle business confidence, especially in these very difficult times where industries and businesses need a stable environment,” Arranza argued.

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