A BILL filed in the House of Representatives seeks to grant a legislative franchise to Bicol Light and Power Corp. to guarantee more affordable electricity to consumers in some parts of Camarines Sur.

House Bill 1084 will grant the company a franchise, which will allow it to establish, operate and maintain a power distribution system in Iriga City and the towns of Baao, Balatan, Bato, Buhi, Bula, and Nabua.

It was filed by Camarines Sur representatives Luis Raymund “Lray” F. Villafuerte, Miguel Luis R. Villafuerte and Tsuyoshi Anthony G. Horibata, and Bicol Saro Party-list Rep. Nicolas C. Enciso VIII.

“It seeks to address the issue of price control through realizing a regime of free and fair competition in the energy sector,” the congressmen said in the bill’s explanatory note.

The bill also requires the grantee to implement a lifeline rate for marginalized end-users.

The bill also states that retail rates and charges for the distribution of electricity are to be regulated and be subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission or its successor.

Under the measure, Bicol Light and Power is also mandated to create employment opportunities.

“No longer should power outages be a bane to society. As such, it is imperative that the service we provide to the people meet such demands and present them with choices accorded to the consumers’ own terms,” the congressmen said. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo