Enactment of Republic Act (RA) 11357 grants the Solar Para Sa Bayan a 25-year renewable energy franchise. This allows the SPSB to supply and distribute electricity to selected provinces and remote areas in the Philippines.
The House Bill 8179
Solar Para Sa Bayan is reportedly owned by Leandro Leviste, son of former senator and now Antique Rep. Loren Legarda.
The solar energy firm commits to the goal of total electrification by 2022. This goal is supported by their recent achievement in Paluan, Occidental Mindoro. The town of Paulan claims that they are now brownout-free since they’ve adapted the stable, cheap, and clean solar-battery microgrid of SPSB.
Using solar panels, Tesla Batteries, and backup diesel generators, SPSB supplies energy for the town of Paluan. But the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO) wants the SPSB to end their operations because Paluan is part of OMECO’s franchise.
SPSB applied for its own franchise – the House Bill 8179.
The Republic Act 11357
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Department of Energy (DOE) to fast-track the development of renewable energy in his State of the Nation Adress (SONA) last July 22. Nine days later, the law was signed.
Secretary Alfonso Cusi of the DOE said that the agency is stepping up the drafting of rules on two key policies to comply with the President’s directive. He said that is it indeed important that we continue to “develop renewable and indigenous energy sources to ensure long-term energy security.”
The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy confirmed that RA 11357 was signed by President Duterte on July 31, 2019. It will take effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette.
The Solar Para Sa Bayan Franchise
RA 11357 allows the SPSB to operate in the barangays, municipalities, and cities of Aklan, Aurora, Bohol, Cagayan, Camiguin, Capiz, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Guimaras, Isabela, Masbate, Misamis Occidental, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, and Tawi-Tawi. It can also operate in select municipalities and cities in Batangas and Quezon.
The law also said that “the retail rate charged by the grantee to the end-users shall be the true cost and shall not be entitled to any government subsidy.”
SPSB commits to the goal of 100 percent electrification for the whole country with zero cost to the government.
Source: Manila Bulletin