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Nation

Bongbong Marcos vetoes bill expanding Davao power firm’s franchise area

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos has vetoed a bill that sought to expand the franchise area of Davao Light and Power Company Inc., saying it may infringe into the franchise, permits and contracts granted to the North Davao Electric Cooperative.

House Bill 10554 would have expanded the power firm’s franchise area to include Tagum City, Island Garden City of Samal, Asuncion, Kapalong, New Corella, San Isidro and Talaingod in Davao del Norte.

The distribution utility operates in the cities of Davao and Panabo as well as in Carmen, Dujali and Sto. Tomas towns in Davao del Norte.

In a letter to lawmakers, Marcos said North Davao Electric has existing franchises in the expanded franchise area that will subsist until 2028 and 2033.

“The bill runs counter to the provisions of Section 27 of Republic Act 9136 or the EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act), mandating that all existing franchises shall be allowed to their full term,” he said in his veto message dated July 27.

Marcos said repeal of North Davao Electric’s franchise over the expanded franchise area would also violate the non-impairment clause of the Constitution.

He said the North Davao Electric Cooperative Inc. has existing power supply agreements with generation companies that are provisionally or finally approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission, which will necessarily be terminated or impaired with the repeal of the cooperative’s franchise over the expanded area.

Davao Light, a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power,  is the country’s third largest electric distribution utility supplying power  in Davao City.                        

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