Poe seeks Senate approval of Visayas power utilities franchises

By Wilnard Bacelonia

May 1, 2024, 6:26 pm

<p>Senator Grace Poe <em>(Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)</em></p>

Senator Grace Poe (Photo courtesy of Senate PRIB)

MANILA – Senator Grace Poe on Wednesday urged her colleagues to approve the franchise bid of three power distribution utilities in Leyte, Romblon, and Negros Occidental to ensure power demand and prevent outages amid continued rising heat indices due to the El Niño phenomenon.

These utilities – Leyte II Electric Cooperative (Leyeco II), Romblon Electric Cooperative (Romelco), and Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC) – have proven track records of providing reliable and sustainable energy, Poe said.

"As the heat index in the country remains dangerously high and is projected to continue rising at the peak of the summer season and amid El Niño, there is no more fitting time than today, to present, for the Senate's consideration, three measures that will ensure our power consumers continued access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy," Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said.

The senator said Leyeco II consistently topped performance assessments and boasts the lowest power rate in the region while Romelco is a model for renewable energy efforts and aims to source 90 percent of its energy from renewables in the next five years.

NEPC, a joint venture between Primelectric and Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO), on the other hand, seeks to modernize the distribution system and address operational challenges in Negros Occidental.

"Undeniably, through these years, there has been remarkable growth in Western Visayas, which included CENECO’s franchise area. However, as demand for power continues to increase, CENECO was unable to keep up with the challenges," she explained.

These distribution utilities, the senator believes, will expand power service in the country and improve the lives of Filipinos. (PNA)