The House Committee on Legislative Franchises on Tuesday, September 28, approved a bill seeking to expand the franchise area of More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) to select municipalities in the province of Iloilo.
In an interview over Aksyon Radyo, Congressman Mike Gorriceta of Second District of Iloilo revealed that House Bill 10271 which aims to amend MORE Power’s franchise to extend its electric distribution system to 15 towns in the Second and Fourth Districts of Iloilo, has been approved in the committee level of the House of Representatives.
“House Bill 10271 was approved at the committee level with certain amendments,” Gorriceta said. “The DOE also recommended creating a consultation panel together with ERC, NEA, and ILECO to discuss potential studies on its impact on ILECO, among others.”
According to Gorriceta, MORE Power President and CEO Roel Castro said in the hearing that they will set up their own facilities once their expansion is approved, and they are willing to collaborate with electric cooperatives in the area.
Gorriceta added that since Congress will go on recess starting September 30, they will wait for the Committee Report on the plenary for more discussions and debates when the session resumes in November.
House Bill 10271 was jointly filed by Gorriceta and Fourth District Congressman Braedon John Biron on September 22 after receiving numerous complaints from consumers on the power rates and services of Iloilo Electric Cooperatives. It sought to amend Republic Act 11212, the law giving the franchise to MORE Power to operate a distribution utility in Iloilo City.
In the Explanatory Note, the lawmakers said that the bill aims to allow MORE Power “to expand and enable it to establish, operate, and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, a distribution system for the conveyance of electric power to end users of the City of Iloilo and in the Municipalities comprising the 2nd District and 4th District, both of Iloilo Province.”
MORE Power’s expanded franchise area under the bill includes the following 15 towns: Alimodian, Leganes, Leon, New Lucena, Pavia, San Miguel, Santa Barbara and Zarraga in the Second District; and Anilao, Banate, Barotac Nuevo, Dingle, Duenas, Dumangas and San Enrique and the City of Passi in the Fourth District.