THE MANAGEMENT Association of the Philippines (MAP) on Thursday urged congressmen to approve the franchise renewal application of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to ensure reliable electricity for people and companies.

“We urge the House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises to favorably consider Meralco’s positive impact and approve its franchise renewal, thereby ensuring stability in the power sector and ultimately serving the best interests of the Filipino people and the Philippine economy,” the business group said in a statement.

MAP President Rene D. Almendras and MAP Energy Committee Chairperson Ruth Y. Owen, signed the statement.

Albay Rep. Jose Maria Clemente “Joey” S. Salceda earlier filed a bill that seeks to extend the power distributor’s franchise, which will expire in 2028. House Bill No. 9793 also aims to expand Meralco’s franchise area.

“MAP recognizes Meralco’s commitment to green energy as it actively champions the government’s renewable energy (RE) goals by supporting programs under the RE Act of 2008,” the group said.

“Its franchise area boasts a remarkable 64% share of the Green Energy Option Program’s total energy consumption,” it added. “It prioritizes operational efficiency and resiliency, meeting or even exceeding standards set by the Energy Regulatory Commission.”

Meralco’s electricity rates are “reasonable” and when adjusted to inflation, the average has fallen since the power industry was deregulated in 2001, the business group said, citing a report from Independent Energy Consultants (IEC).

“This focus on efficiency translates to cost savings for consumers.”

MAP said that the power distributor has “consistently improved its system loss, achieving a rate below the mandated cap and ranking among the lowest nationwide.”

Meralco also achieved almost 100% electrification within its franchise area, the business group said.

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.

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