House franchises committee to start hearing on MORE Power’s franchise expansion today

PHOTO CAPTION: The House Committee on Legislative Franchises starts today its committee hearing on a bill introduced by Iloilo Reps. Mike Gorriceta and Braeden John Biron seeking for the expansion of MORE Power’s franchise area from Iloilo City to include the second and fourth congressional districts that they represent in Congress./iNews (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of UNTV News)

ILOILO–The House Committee on Legislative Franchises will start today, September 28, the committee hearing on House Bill No. 10271 that seeks to amend the franchise coverage of MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) and expand its present franchise area to include the second and fourth legislative districts of Iloilo.

This was confirmed by Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Mark Gorriceta, who co-authored the bill with Iloilo fourth district Rep. Braeden John Biron.

The said congressional initiative of the two solons stemmed from a resolution from the Sangguniang Bayan of Pavia asking Gorriceta to introduce a bill in Congress for the extension of MORE Power’s franchise area so that the said town can also benefit from the low power rates and efficient service that their Iloilo City neighbors enjoy from their electric power provider.

MORE Power is exclusively Iloilo City’s electric power distribution utility.

Earlier, Pavia SB member Daniel Fajardo II delivered a privilege speech assailing what he deemed as poor customer service and higher-than-usual rates of Iloilo Electric Cooperative I (ILECO I).

Weeks later, the municipal councils of Leganes, Zarraga, and Sta. Barbara joined the call for a new electric power distributor that can provide them with efficient and inexpensive power.

Gorriceta, however, admits that it would be a long process, but that this is also the reason they decided to act now before the 18th Congress closes.

“Indi ‘na amo ka-hapos…Malawig ini nga proseso. Ginsugudan ta ini para matagaan equal, patas (nga tiempo) ang tagsa ka bahin. Amo ‘ni ang proper or ensakto nga pala-agyan para ma-istorya sa ibabaw sang lamesa sa Kongreso. Kay ti, diri man ga-grant kag ga-disapprove sang franchise. Para once and for all, mabutangan ‘ta na sang closure (ang issue) [It won’t be that easy… The process is a long one. We initiated this to give equal and fair opportunity to both sides. This we believe is the proper venue to talk about it: the Congress table. Anyway, this is where franchises are granted or disapproved. So that once and for all, we can give this issue proper closure],” he said.

In the event that the House approves the measure, it will be elevated to the Senate, where a similar bill is necessary for it to become a law, Gorriceta explained.

The two proponents’ desire to have it passed as quickly as possible emanates from the fact that if it is not approved in the present Congress before it adjourns early next year, they would have to start all over again in the 19th Congress under a new administration and House leadership. (N. Glenn Aragon/iNEWS)

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