Senate finally approves NEPC franchise

Senator Grace Poe

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY—The Philippine Senate has officially approved the bill granting a franchise to the Negros Electric and Power Corporation (NEPC) to operate as a new distribution utility in Central Negros through a Joint Venture Agreement with the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO).

During the plenary session on May 20, 2024, House Bill No. 9805 received 22 affirmative votes from the senators.

After the bill’s approval, Senator Grace Poe, Committee Chairperson on Public Services, expressed her gratitude to her colleagues for their support and emphasized the significance of the legislative measure in enhancing consumer services. “It is my hope that the granting of the franchise would pave the way for better and more expansive power service in the country,” Poe said in a press statement from NEPC.

Poe further noted, “House Bill No. 9805 is a result of the public’s clamor for better service in Central Negros Occidental, which CENECO currently serves. NEPC has expressed its readiness and willingness to invest capital in modernizing the distribution system and addressing operational challenges.”

She praised the initiative of both CENECO and NEPC for crafting the joint venture, stating, “What’s great about this agreement is that both parties share the goal of improving the electric service for Negrenses.”

“As legislators, we must remain open to the changing times. Our duty is to be responsive to the needs of our constituents, both now and in the future,” she added.

Poe also highlighted that the new franchise will attract investors: “We are also striving to create a business-friendly environment because doing so will ensure the success of this venture and future endeavors.”

Representatives of both houses of Congress are expected to meet in a bicameral conference to fine-tune the law’s final version before sending it to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for approval.

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