Photo Release

May 23, 2022

Senate's chief fiscalizer scrutinizes Franchise Bill: Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday, May 23, 2022, interpellates Sen. Grace Poe on House Bill No. 10306, which proposes to expand the franchise area of More Electric and Power Corporation in Iloilo province. Drilon said he does not oppose the bill's intention to improve electricity service and lower power rates in his home province. He, however, raised concern over Section 2 of the bill, which seeks to amend More's existing franchise to remove the need for Congress' consent before the transfer or sale of its stocks to a foreign or local investor who would supposedly not participate in the management of the firm. Drilon feared that the power of Congress to examine franchise applicants would be dispensed with. "I view this amendment as a rider to the principal policy to the amendment, which is to allow competition in the areas serviced by electric cooperatives in the hope that the public serviced by the present electric cooperatives can hope for a better service," he said. Poe, chairperson of the Committee on Public Services, said she is open to removing the provision to avoid confusion in the bill's implementation. (Voltaire Domingo and Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)