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Senate committee deliberates Negros Power franchise

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

After being approved by the House of Representatives, the franchise being sought by Negros Electric Power Corporation to establish, operate, and maintain for commercial purposes and in the public interest, a distribution system for the conveyance of electric power to the end-users in the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Talisay, Silay, and municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental, is now being deliberated by the Senate committee on Public Services.

The hearing on the legislative franchise application of Negros Power, among other electric cooperatives, is aimed at ensuring accessible, affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity for Filipinos, according to a statement issued by committee chairperson Senator Grace Poe.

In seeking a franchise, Negros Power earlier said it is hoping to provide “cheaper, more efficient, and eco-friendly” electric supply to Negros and “ensure a continuous and uninterrupted supply of electricity in the franchise area.”

During the committee hearing on March 5 at the Senate, Poe emphasized the importance of responsible service delivery in the context of franchise privileges.

“A franchise is a privilege, but it also comes with the significant responsibility of providing public service,” she added.

“Therefore, it can be revoked if not exercised properly,” Poe stressed.

Poe also called on employees of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) “to be part of the growth.”

“All of us here have benefits to gain if the service in your area is done well. Don’t be afraid of being left out,” the senator said.*

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