Press Release
May 31, 2021

Hontiveros files bill expanding ROMELCO's power distribution in 3 islands of Romblon

Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a bill granting Romblon Electric Cooperative (ROMELCO) a legislative franchise to expand its electric distribution areas to three island municipalities in Romblon province.

Hontiveros' Senate Bill No. 2240 aims to give ROMELCO a 25-year franchise and fully integrates Banton, Corcuera, and Concepcion in its list of power distribution areas.

"Dekada nang nagtitiis ang mga kababayan natin sa Banton, Corcuera at Concepcion. Bukod sa napakamahal ng binabayaran, hindi rin tuluy-tuloy ang daloy ng kuryente. It's time for ROMELCO to take over upang mas maraming kabahayan pa ang mag-liwanag," Hontiveros added.

To guarantee the affordability of the electric service, the bill mandates ROMELCO to ensure that the rates passed on to consumers are in the least cost manner as provided under the Electric Power Reform Act (EPIRA) and applicable rules of the Energy Regulatory Commission. It was also stipulated in the measure that ROMELCO should adhere to the promotion of consumer interest and establish a complaints desk, among others.

According to the bill, the franchise shall be deemed revoked if the grantee fails to continuously operate for two years.

"ROMELCO, given its excellent track record in household electrification, has the technical, financial, and institutional capabilities to sustainably and effectively carry out the electrification program, especially in the island municipalities of Banton, Corcuera and Concepcion," she said.

ROMELCO is known for its 90-10 vision (90% renewable and 10% non-renewable mix) of energy development in its franchise areas and has embarked on building its own renewable energy (RE) plants, with a Hydro Power Plant installed in Sibuyan Island as well as Hybrid Solar, Biomass Gasifier, Hybrid Wind-Diesel and Solar Rooftop Power Plants in Romblon Island.

"Malinaw na ang layunin ng ROMELCO ay hindi lamang para sa total electrification ng lugar. Ang pagpapalago nila ng renewable energy ay susi rin tungo sa energy security at independence lalo na sa mga malalayong mga isla," Hontiveros said.

"Sana nga ang lahat ng ating electric cooperatives sa buong bansa ay may kaparehong plano nang sa gayon ay hindi na makaporma at i-takeover ng mga pribadong korporasyon ang ating power sector," she furthered.

Hontiveros emphasized that electric cooperatives, with adequate support from the government, should aim for more efficiency and democracy to be able to survive the age of retail competition in the privatized power industry.

"Kailangan patibayin pa ang pundasyon ng ating mga kooperatiba para mas epektibong makapag-serbisyo sa kanilang mga miyembro. At tungkulin ng pamahalaan na umalalay sa bawat pagpupunyaging ito upang makamit ang mas abot-kayang kuryente para sa lahat," she concluded.

*Please see attached SBN 2240

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