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Makati Business Club backs Meralco franchise renewal

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THE Makati Business Club (MBC) on Tuesday said it supports the renewal of Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) franchise, but recognizes “the need for targeted adjustments where necessary.”

In a statement, the MBC said that Meralco’s network plays “a pivotal role in ensuring reliable and accessible electricity for households and businesses in the country’s key economic regions.”

“We acknowledge concerns about electricity prices in the country, which are comparatively high among ASEAN nations. However, it is important to note that the Philippines boasts a liberalized energy market, devoid of government subsidies,” the business group said.

Citing a report by the International Energy Consultants 2, the group said that Meralco’s  distribution rates remain fair and reasonable even amid prevailing inflation rates.

MBC said that the renewal of Meralco’s franchise is in line with the government objectives of enhancing energy security, resilience, and sustainability.

“Meralco has demonstrated its commitment to promoting renewable energy and has implemented programs to assist customers in transitioning to cleaner power sources,” the MBC noted.

“We therefore endorse the renewal of Meralco’s energy franchise, while also recognizing the need for targeted adjustments where necessary,” it added.

Meralco is the main power distributor for Metro Manila and nearby areas covering 39 cities and 72 municipalities.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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