The franchise being sought by the Negros Electric and Power Corp. (NEPC) got a preliminary approval from the House committee on legislative franchise during its hearing on Nov. 13 at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.
The landmark decision, according to NEPC, follows a comprehensive review of the initiative presented by four Negrense lawmakers, including Reps. Stephen Joseph Paduano, Juliet Marie Ferrer, Jose Francisco Benitez and Greg Gasataya.
Chaired by Rep. Gus Tambunting, the committee engaged in discussions about House Bill 9310, which outlines the transfer of the franchise from Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to NEPC.
The scope of the franchise encompasses the cities of Bacolod, Bago, Silay, and Talisay, along with the municipalities of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto.
During the deliberations, the Negrense representatives underscored the urgency of NEPC’s intervention, citing the financial struggles faced by Ceneco.
These challenges stem from a shortage of capital expenditures crucial for the modernization of existing facilities.
Officials from both NEPC and Ceneco, along with representatives from the National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission, were present at the hearing.
A focal point of the discussions was the joint venture agreement, emphasizing the conduct and outcome of its ratification through a plebiscite by the majority of consumers.
In conclusion, the committee approved the house bill, in principle.
However, such approval is contingent upon the submission of specific documentary requirements.
NEPC president Roel Castro said that they would submit the documents and answer in writing the issues raised by some committee members.||