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Poor service and high rates: Think tank calls for rejection of First Laguna Electric Cooperative’s franchise renewal

Infrawatch PH, an infrastructure-oriented think tank, said Congress should reject the franchise renewal application of First Laguna Electric Cooperative Inc. amid allegations of poor service and high electricity rates.

“Congress should unqualifiedly reject the franchise renewal application of First Laguna Electric Cooperative Inc. for its failure to provide an adequate level of service to its customers, and for its failure to ensure the least cost of electricity within its franchise area,” said Terry Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor and former member of both House energy and legislative franchises committees.

Municipalities within the FLECO franchise area are Cavinti, Pagsanjan, Lumban, Kalayaan, Paete, Pakil, Pangil, Siniloan, Mabitac, Famy, and Sta. Maria in the northeastern part of the Province of Laguna.

Ridon said the perennial and prolonged brownouts within its franchise area are discouraging the entry of new businesses, despite its close proximity to Metro Manila.

“Uninterrupted and reliable power supply are absolute preconditions for manufacturing hubs to invest in particular areas. Laguna towns within FLECO’s service area will fail to ride on the country’s continuing economic growth if it remains dependent on a middle-of-the-road service provider. In fact, these areas have failed to join the growth of other Laguna economic hubs such as Santa Rosa and San Pedro precisely because of unreliable power supply,” Ridon said.

He said FLECO also failed to serve its customers by failing to ensure the least cost of electricity, which exacerbates the situation of perennial and prolonged brownouts.

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