Duterte signs law on Solar franchise

Solar panels of the Paluan solar microgrid in Occidental Mindoro. (SPSB)

A solar microgrid builder is expected to ramp up construction of SMG in remote areas without electricity with the enactment of a law granting the Solar Para Sa Bayan (SPSB) a 25-year franchise.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11357 on Wednesday, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy has confirmed.

The law grants SPSB a non-exclusive right to operate microgrids in unserved or underserved areas in selected provinces.

The company is owned by Leandro Leviste, son of former senator and now Antique Rep. Loren Legarda.

The signing of RA 11357 comes nine days after Duterte ordered the Department of Energy to fast-track the development of renewable energy in his State of the Nation Address last week.

“We recognize the urgent need to ensure the sustainability and availability of resources and the development of alternative ones. In this regard, I trust that Secretary Cusi shall fast-track also the development of renewable energy sources, and reduce dependence on the traditional energy sources such as coal,” Mr. Duterte said in his SoNA.

DoE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the agency is stepping up the drafting of rules on two key policies to comply with the President’s directive.

“Indeed, it is important that we continue to develop renewable and indigenous energy sources to ensure long-term energy security,” Cusi said.

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p: wjg