By authority of the United States, be it enacted by the Philippine Commission, that:
Section 1. Electric light and power franchises. The National Assembly may, in its discretion, grant a franchise for electric light and power, upon prior filing of a written petition by an interested party together with one or more certificates of public convenience, issued by the Public Service Commission in accordance with the Act creating the said Commission, and to this effect, the following form is prescribed for granting electric light and power franchises.
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“Sec. 1. Form of bill. Subject to the conditions established in this Act, there is hereby granted to _______________ hereinafter known as the grantee, (a corporation duly organized under the laws of the Philippine Islands; and domiciled in the Municipality of ______________, Province of _____________, Philippine Islands), for a period of ________ years from the approval of this Act, the right, privilege and authority to construct, maintain, and operate an electric light, heat, and power, for sale within the limits of the municipality (or municipalities) of __________, Province of ___________, Philippine Islands. The grantee shall further have the right and privilege to install, lay, and maintain in, along, under, and over all public property of the municipality (or municipalities), including the public streets and highways, provincial roads, bridges, and public squares within said municipality (or municipalities) all necessary apparatus and appurtenances for the transmission and distribution of electric current, and to supply, sell, and furnish such current to any individual, copartnership, private, public or quasi-public association, corporation, or joint-stock company, within the limits of said municipality (or municipalities) for insular, provincial, municipal, domestic, or manufacturing uses or for any other use to which electricity may be put, and to charge and collect a schedule of prices and rates for the use of electric current so furnished, which schedule of prices and rates shall at all times be subject to regulation by the Public Service Commission or its legal successor.
“Sec. 2. Supply of electric power, heat, and light. Said grantee shall supply electric power, and or heat, and or light to any applicant for the same within fifteen days after the date of his application, in the order of the date of the application up to the limit of the capacity of the plant of said grantee, said limit to be determined by the Public Service Commission 4a or its legal successor in such certificate or certificates of public necessity and convenience as may be issued by it as prescribed by section eight of this Act; and should the demand for electric power, and or heat, and or light at any time increase beyond the capacity of the plant of said grantee to supply the same, the capacity of said plant shall be increased by said grantee to such reasonable extent and within such reasonable time as may be fixed by the Public Service Commission or its legal successor. If, however, the point at which the electric power, and or heat, and or light is to be supplied is more than thirty meters from the lines operated by said grantee, the latter shall not be obligated to furnish said service, except upon the receipt of such additional prices and rates as the Commission, 6 or its legal successor, may determine to be just and reasonable.
“Sec. 3. The grantee hereby agrees to compensate the municipality (or municipalities) for any damage to its (or their) property by reason of the construction under this franchise or of any neglect or omission to keep the said poles, wires and other property in a safe condition, and to be responsible for any damage to individuals, copartnerships, private, or quasi-public associations, corporations, or stock-joint companies, arising out of such fault, neglect, or negligence.
“Sec. 4. Apparatus and appurtenances. All apparatus and appurtenances used by the grantee shall be modern, safe, and first class in every respect (all wires shall be carefully connected, fastened, and insulated) and the grantee shall, whenever the Public Service Commission or its legal successor shall determine that the public interest reasonably requires it, place said wires in underground pipes or conduits at its own expense, and without any cost or prejudice to the municipality (or municipalities). The poles erected by the grantee shall be of such a height as to maintain the wires stretched on the same at a distance of at least twenty feet above the level of the ground, and shall be of such appearance as not to disfigure the streets, and shall be placed with due regard for the public safety, in accordance with a plan previously approved by the Public Service Commission after hearing the municipal authorities concerned.
“Sec. 5. Change location of poles, on underground conduits. Whenever it shall, in the opinion of the Public Service Commission 9 or its legal successor, become necessary in the public interest or convenience, to change the location of the grantee’s poles, underground pipes or conduits, such change shall be made without delay by the grantee, his (its) successors or assigns, at the grantee’s expense, and the same shall be placed where directed by the Public Service Commission after hearing the proper municipal authorities.
“Sec. 6. Removal of sidewalks or excavations. Whenever it shall be necessary in the erection of said poles, or in the placing of said wires in underground pipes or conduits, to take up any portion of the sidewalks or dig up the ground near the sidewalks or corners of the public streets or thoroughfares, the grantee shall, after said poles or underground pipes or conduits are constructed, replaced without delay said sidewalks and other property in a proper manner, removing from the same all rubbish, dirt, refuse, or other material which may have been placed there, taken up or dug up in the erection of said poles, underground pipes or conduits, leaving all property in as good condition as before the work was done.
“Sec. 7. Removal of poles or wires. Whenever any individual, copartnership, private, public or quasi-public association, corporation, or joint-stock company has lawfully obtained permission to use any of the public property of said municipality (or municipalities), including the public streets and highways, provincial roads, bridges, and public squares, for any cause whatsoever, making it necessary to raise or remove any of said poles and or electric wires and/or pipes, which may hinder or obstruct the prosecution of said work, the said grantee, upon written notice by the municipal council of said municipality, served upon the grantee in person or upon its duly authorized agent at least forty-eight hours in advance, shall raise or remove any of its poles and/or wires and/or conduits and/or pipes which might hinder or obstruct the prosecution of said work so as to allow the free and unobstructed prosecution of said work. The notice shall be in the form of a duly adopted resolution of the municipal council concerned, served upon the grantee or his (its) duly authorized agent by a person competent to testify in a civil action. The individual, copartnership, private, public or quasi-public association, corporation, or joint-stock company at whose request the raising or removing of said poles and/or electric wires and/or conduits and/or pipes has been done shall pay one-half of the actual cost thereof to the grantee, and also one-half of the actual cost of their replacement. In the case of the refusal or failure of the grantee to comply with such notice, the Public Service Commission 11 after hearing the municipal authorities concerned, shall order such poles and/or electric wires and/or conduits and/or pipes raised or removed at the sole expense of said grantee.
“Sec. 8. The grantee shall not exercise any rights or privileges under this franchise, nor commence any construction thereunder, unless and until the grantee shall first file with the Public Service Commission within one hundred and twenty days from the date of the approval of this Act:
“(1) His (its) written acceptance of the terms and provisions of this Act;
“(2) Acceptance. His (its) written acceptance of the terms and conditions of the first certificate or certificates of necessity and convenience required by law for the granting of this franchise and issued by the Public Service Commission, of the form and character provided for in Act Numbered Three thousand one hundred and eight, as amended.
“(3) Deposits in cash or negotiable bonds. A document or documents evidencing receipt by the Insular Treasurer,15 of the deposit or deposits required by law, of not less than one thousand pesos Philippine currency, or negotiable bonds approved by the Public Service Commission for each certificate of public necessity and convenience as an earnest of good faith and a guaranty that the grantee will complete the work within the period fixed by the Commission.
“Nullity of certificates; Forfeiture of deposits. If the grantee shall not commence the furnishing of electric current in any municipality (or municipalities) referred to in any certificate or certificates of public necessity and convenience, obtained and filed as herein provided within such period as the Public Service Commission 18 or its legal successor shall have fixed, unless prevented by act of God or force majeure, usurped or military power, martial law, riot, civil commotion or other cause beyond his (its) control, said commission or its legal successor may in its discretion declare such certificate or certificates to be null and void, and the deposit or deposits made by the grantee forfeited to such municipality as liquidated damages and not as a penalty”
“Sec. 9. Construction or works. After compliance with the requirements of the next preceding section, the Public Service Commission or its legal successor, by proper order or writ, shall authorize the construction of necessary work for the purposes of this franchise, within a reasonable time to be determined by the said Commission.
Violation“Upon determination by the Public Service Commission or its legal successor after a hearing upon reasonable written notice to the grantee that the grantee has violated any of the provisions of this section as to the commencement and/or completion of the work authorized by a certificate or certificates of the Public Service Commission or its legal successor, the said Commission or its legal successor shall declare the bond or bonds forfeited as liquidated damages and not as a penalty to the municipality in which the failure to perform occurred. If the failure occurred in more than one municipality, the Public Service Commission or its legal successor shall determine the portion which each municipality shall receive. The Public Service Commission or its legal successor shall order the return of the deposit required by section eight hereof, as amended, together with any interest or dividends thereon received by the Insular Treasurer, to the grantee upon the satisfactory completion of any work authorized by its certificate or certificates of public necessity, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the certificate or certificates obtained, and the Insular Treasurer28 shall return said deposit to the grantee together with said interest and/or dividends immediately upon presentation to him of a certified copy of such order of the Public Service Commission 29 or its legal successors.
“Sec. 10. Taxation. The grantee shall pay the same taxes as are now or may hereafter be required by law from other individuals, copartnerships, private, public or quasi-public associations, corporations, or joint-stock companies, on his (its) real estate, buildings, plants, machinery, and other personal property, except property declared exempt in this section. In consideration of the franchise and rights hereby granted, the grantee shall pay into the municipal treasury of the (of each) municipality in which it is supplying electric current to the public under this franchise, a tax equal to two per centum of the gross earnings from electric current sold or supplied under this franchise in said (each said) municipality. Said tax shall be due and payable quarterly and shall be in lieu of any and all taxes of any kind, nature or description levied, established, or collected by any authority whatsoever, municipal, provincial, or insular, now or in the future, on its poles, wires, insulators, switches, transformers and structures, installations, conductors, and accessories, placed in and over and under all public property, including public streets and highways, provincial roads, bridges and public squares, and on its franchise, rights, privileges, receipts, revenues and profits, from which taxes the grantee is hereby expressly exempted. 32
“Sec. 11. Use of poles by municipality. The municipality (or municipalities) shall have the privilege, without compensation, for and during the time the wires of the grantee are maintained on poles of using the said poles of the grantee for the purpose of installing, maintaining, and operating a police telephone and fire alarm system, but the wires of such police telephone or fire alarm system shall be placed and stretched in such manner as to cause no interference with or damage to the wires of the electric service of the grantee. The municipality (or any of the municipalities) above specified which makes use of the aforesaid privilege shall be liable to the grantee for any damage or liability arising from the installation, maintenance or operation of said police telephone or fire alarm system.
“Sec. 12. Limitations. This franchise is granted subject to the provisions of Act Numbered Three thousand one hundred and eight, as amended, and with the understanding and upon the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration, or repeal by the National Assembly or by the Congress of the United States and that it shall be subject in all respects to the limitations upon corporations and the granting of franchises contained in the Constitution of the Philippines, and also subject to the provisions of Act Numbered Fourteen hundred and fifty-nine of the Philippine Legislature, as amended.”
“Sec. 13. Reversion. All lands or right of use or occupation of lands hereby granted by the insular, 36 provincial, or municipal governments shall upon the termination, revocation or repeal of this franchise, revert to the respective insular, 37 provincial, or municipal governments which were the owners thereof or from which said lands or rights were derived.
“Sec. 14. Inspection of books, records and accounts. The books, records and accounts of the grantee shall always be open to the inspection of the provincial treasurer or his authorized representative, and it shall be the duty of the grantee to submit to the provincial treasurer quarterly reports in duplicate showing the gross receipts for the quarter past, one of which shall be forwarded by the provincial treasurer to the Insular Auditor, 38 who shall keep the same on file.
“Sec. 15. Sales, lease, etc. The grantee, with the approval of the Philippine Legislature, 39 first had, may sell, lease, grant, convey, assign, give in usufruct, or transfer this franchise and all property and rights acquired thereunder to any individual, copartnership, private, public or quasi-public association, corporation, or joint-stock company competent to operate the business hereby authorized, but transfer of title to the franchise or any right of ownership or interest acquired under such sale, lease, grant, conveyance, assignment, gift in usufruct or transfer shall not be effective even after such approval shall have been obtained until there shall have been filed in the office of the Public Service Commission 40 or its legal successor an agreement in writing by which the individual, copartnership, private, public or quasi-public association, corporation, or joint-stock company in whose favor such sale, lease, grant, conveyance, assignment, gift in usufruct, or transfer is made, shall be firmly bound to comply with all the terms and conditions imposed upon the grantee by this franchise and by any and all certificates of public necessity and convenience theretofore issued by Public Service Commission 41 or its legal successor, and to accept the same subject to all existing terms and conditions.
“Sec. 16. Forfeiture. The Public Service Commission 42 or its legal successor shall have power, after a reasonable written notice to the grantee and a hearing of the interested parties, to declare the forfeiture of this franchise and all rights inherent in the same for failure on the part of the grantee to comply with any of the terms and conditions thereof, unless such failure shall have been directly and primarily caused by the act of God, force majeure, usurped right, uprising or other cause beyond the grantee’s control Against such declaration of forfeiture by the Public Service Commission 43 or its legal successor, the grantee may apply for the remedies provided in sections twenty-eight and thirty-five of Act Numbered Thirty-one hundred and eight, 44 as amended. The remedy provided herein shall not be a bar to any other remedy provided by existing laws for the forfeiture of this franchise.
“Sec. 17. Terms more favorable that will form part of franchise. In the event of any competing individual, association of persons or corporation receiving either a franchise or permission from the Government of the Philippine Islands or from any province, city, or municipality thereof, to conduct a similar business in all or any substantial portion of the territory covered by this franchise to that of the grantee, in which franchise or permission there shall be any term or terms more favorable than those herein granted or tending to place the herein grantee at any disadvantage, then such term or terms shall ipso facto become a part of the terms hereof and shall operate equally in favor of the grantee as in the case of said competing individual, association of persons, or corporations.”
Section 2. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.