Senate okays franchise for Solar Para sa Bayan

MANILA The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a measure seeking to grant Solar Para sa Bayan Corporation (SPSB Corp.) a renewable energy distribution franchise.

With 16 affirmative votes, no negative vote, and one abstention, the upper chamber approved on third reading House Bill 8179, granting SPSB Corp. a 25-year franchise to construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain distributed power technologies (DPT) and microgrid systems throughout the country to improve access to sustainable energy.

SPSB Corp. is owned by Senator Loren Legarda's son, Leandro Leviste.

The Department of Energy shall be mandated to determine the remote and unviable, unserved, and underserved areas where the firm should provide electric power to.

The bill requires the grantee to operate its DPT and microgrid systems in the least cost manner.

In the interest of the public good and as far as feasible, the grantee shall modify, improve, or change its facilities and equipment to provide efficient and reliable service and reduced electricity costs.

The grantee shall also charge reasonable and just power rates for its services to all types of consumers so that business and industries shall be able to compete.

The bill prohibits the lease, transfer, or sale of the franchise or the rights or privileges acquired. It also prevents the transfer of controlling interest by the grantee to another person or entity.

The solar firm aims to help achieve the government's goal of 100 percent electrification as well as affordable, reliable electricity for all Filipinos by 2022. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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