Meralco’s franchise renewal supported by business groups

Sheila Crisostomo - The Philippine Star
Meralco�s franchise renewal supported by business groups
This picture shows Meralco's electric meter.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The business community continues to call for Meralco’s franchise renewal as two more big groups have sent “encouraging communications” to the House committee on legislative franchises, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said yesterday.

The lawmaker cited the latest letters of support came from the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI) and Private Electric Power Operators Association (PEPOA).

“We are heartened by the letters of endorsement sent by the semiconductor and electronics sector and private electric power operators for the renewal of Meralco’s distribution privilege by another 25 years,” he said.

In its endorsement letter, SEIPI president Dan Lachica said Meralco’s franchise renewal “will give confidence to foreign investors, as it will signal stability in our economic landscape.”

He added that Meralco has been a “collaborative partner” to SEIPI and its over 360 member-companies. It also helped power up economic zone locations and industrial parks that makes the industry globally competitive.

PEPOA president Ranulfo Ocampo, for his part, said Meralco’s track record shows that it “has provided reliable electricity that served as the backbone of businesses and enhanced the quality of life for millions of Filipinos.”

He also recognized Meralco’s swift action in helping local power distributors restore power in regions frequently hit by typhoons as they have continually shared their resources with these distributors.

Earlier, the committee, chaired by Parañaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, also received similar endorsements from the Makati Business Club and the Management Association of the Philippines. 

Rodriguez said these four groups are the “biggest and most influential business organizations” in the country.

“We should heed their collective voice of support for the renewal of Meralco’s franchise, together with related statements from some consumer groups,” he maintained.

“We have to tackle the bill as soon as possible to ensure continuous supply of electricity at an affordable price,” he added.

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