President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Republic Act No. 11357 which grants a 25-year renewable Energy franchise to Solar Para sa Bayan Corporation (SPBC) to provide electricity to remote and unviable, unserved, and underserved areas. Under the new law, SPBC’s activities include construction, installation, establishment, operation, and maintenance of distributed power technologies (DPT) and microgrid systems throughout the country to improve access to sustainable Energy.
Other provisions of the law for the grantee or franchise holder include the following:
Must secure the necessary certificate of public convenience and necessity and other permits for the construction and operations of its Energy resources from the concerned government agencies.
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.
It shall not also affect the duty of the DOE to promote private sector participation in the electrification of remote and unviable, unserved and underserved areas
Ensure the operation of its distributed Energy resources in the least cost manner.
Modify, improve or change its facilities and equipment to ensure efficient and reliable service and reduced electricity costs.
Charge reasonable and just power rates as approved by the ERC for its services to all types of consumers in order that business and industries shall be able to compete.
Must establish a consumer desk that will handle complaints and ensure adequate protection of consumer interests.
Identify and segregate the components of the retail rate in its electricity bill to the end users.
Lifeline rates must also be implemented for marginalized end users.
Special right reserved to the President to temporarily take over and operate the facilities in case of war, rebellion, public peril, calamity or emergency.
SPSB Corp. is owned by Senator Loren Legarda’s son, Leandro Leviste. The renewable Energy firm is anticipated to help the government’s goal of providing affordable, reliable 100 percent electrification for all Filipinos by 2022.
(Sources: Manila Bulletin; The Philippine Star; Philippine News Agency)