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House gives final nod on bill allowing DLPC to serve DN

OFFICIALS of Davao del Norte have welcomed the approval of the House of Representatives on the proposal to include the rest of the province under the franchise area of the Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC).

In a press statement, Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib said the approval of the proposal, which will be elevated to the Senate, will unlock the economic potentials of the province.  

“Davao del Norte can finally march faster forward to progress for our economy and our people. The passage of this bill will usher in a new area of development of our province. Thank you to our Congressmen friends and congratulations to the mayors, councilors, barangay leaders, and all those who made this happen. We will now work with our Senate to finally finish this much awaited development for our province,” said Jubahib.

The proposal , which the House of Representatives approved Monday on third reading, will add to the DLPC franchise the cities of Tagum and Island Garden City of Samal and the towns of Kapalong, New Corella, Talaingod, Asuncion, and San Isidro and the municipality of Maco in Davao de Oro.

The province and the other local government units under it and Maco, the tourism sector, other business groups and other groups passed resolutions supporting the proposal.

Aside from Davao City, the rest of Davao del Norte – Panabo City and the towns of Sto. Tomas, Carmen and Braulio Dujali – have been under the franchise area of DLPC.

“The people of Davao del Norte only deserve affordable and reliable power supply as well as world class service. I will not stop until we make this a reality,” Jubahib added.

Mayor Al David Uy of the Island Garden City of Samal, said that the approval of the proposal is an indication that the members of the House of Representatives are “listening to the call of our people for a cheaper, more reliable power supply.”

“Our dark ages will soon be over. This gives us hope that Samal can finally live up to its potential as a world-class tourism destination and economic center not only in the region but in the country,” said Uy, who has been among the most vocal local officials in the province that wanted the proposal to succeed.

At present, the service provider of the province and the nearby Davao de Oro is the North Davao Electric Cooperative, formerly known as Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative. 

The cooperative, which the local officials accused of not providing efficient service and has been collecting high rates, dismissed the call by local government officials, prompting the latter to seek relief through a congressional way.

Samal, the center of tourism in the province, is drawing power form the cooperative through a submarine cable system connected to the DLPC facilities. 

Based on the information from the cooperative, it has been implementing about P1.8 billion 14-kilometer system that will replace the submarine cable system connected to the DLPC facilities. However, the Energy Regulatory Commission said the cooperative has yet to secure an approval for the project. During the congressional hearing of the proposal, the ERC said that it issued several show cause orders to the cooperative for its failure to submit required documents on its technical and financial performance.

Uy has criticized the implementation of the project, saying that the cooperative should instead use the fund in improving its system. 

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