Solar Para sa Bayan secures 25-year franchise

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2019 02:56 PM | Updated as of Aug 01 2019 03:36 PM

MANILA -- (UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte has granted a 25-year fresh franchise to Solar Para sa Bayan, a firm owned by Antique Rep. Loren Legarda's son, to provide clean energy to remote areas.

Republic Act No. 11357, signed by the President on Wednesday, grants Leandro Leviste's firm a non-exclusive franchise to provide power to customers in "remote and unviable, unserved, or underserved areas."

These include barangays, municipalities, and cities of the provinces of:

  • Aurora
  • Bohol
  • Cagayan
  • Camiguin
  • Capiz
  • Compostela Valley
  • Davao Oriental
  • Guimaras
  • Isabela
  • Masbate
  • Misamis Occidental
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Palawan
  • Tawi-Tawi

The law requires Leviste's firm to put up facilities and provide equipment for the provision of "efficient and reliable" energy supply to customers. It should also provide a consumer desk that can respond to customer complaints.

"The grantee shall aim to provide and ensure full electrification for all or a substantial portion of the connected end-users in the localities specified..." a portion of the law stated.

The company is tasked to charge "reasonable and just" power rates as approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission for its services.

Under the new law, the solar firm must submit an annual report to the ERC, Department of Energy, and to Congress on its compliance with the terms and conditions of its franchise.

Solar Para sa Bayan describes itself as "a Filipino social enterprise which aims to serve Filipino communities with cheap, and reliable 24/7 electricity."