Legarda defends son’s solar firm: I abstained out of delicadeza
MANILA, Philippines — Out of delicadeza, Senator Loren Legarda said she abstained from voting on a bill, granting a “nonexclusive” 25-year franchise to a solar firm owned by her son, Leandro Leviste.
Voting 16-0 with one abstention, the Senate on May 27 approved on third and final reading the franchise of Solar Para sa Bayan Corp. (SPSB).
“As you know, I abstained. That’s my son’s company of which I’m not an owner,” she said at the regular Kapihan sa Senado.
“On the words of the sponsor, it’s a social justice legislation. But I abstained out of delicadeza because it’s owned by my son, a 25-year-old entrepreneur,” she said.
Asked about the need for the franchise, as raised by some of her colleagues, Legarda said she is not an expert on the issue and did not defend the bill on the floor, anyway.
“In fact, I would always be out to make sure that there is no conflict,” she pointed out.
Under the bill, SPSB would be allowed to “construct, install, establish, operate and maintain distributable power technologies and mini-grid systems throughout the Philippines to improve access to sustainable energy.”
The Senate, however, proposed several amendments to House Bill No. 8179, which the House of Representatives approved last December.
One of the Senate’s amendments was to limit to 13 the areas SPBS can serve.
The 13 areas are Aurora, Batangas, Bohol, Cagayan, Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Isabela, Masbate, Misamis Occidental, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, and Tawi-Tawi. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)
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