THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has no objection to the possible denial by congressional leaders to renew the franchise of Panay Electric Company, the sole electricity utility serving Iloilo City.
ERC Chairman Agnes Devanadera said the commission’s only request is that Congress ensure that there will be no disruption of service.
Devanadera issued the statement in response to the supposed statement of Palawan Rep. Josef Alvarez, who chairs the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, that majority of congressmen are inclined to deny the renewal of PECO’s legislative franchise that expires on January 18, 2019 because of multiple complaints of inefficiency and consumer abuse.
The ERC chair said that in the meantime, the commission will ensure that all consumer complaints against PECO are acted upon whether or not the company gets its franchise renewed by Congress.
Alvarez said the complaints against electricity company is the prime reason why congressmen are inclined to deny the renewal of its franchise, including complaints by Iloilo residents of alleged sudden 1,000% increase in their electricity bill and a recent Sangguniang Panglungsod (SP) resolution asking the National Government to take over PECO’s operations until another company takes over.
Iloilo City Councilor Joshua Alim had asked the House legislative franchises committee to take into consideration the petition signed by 30,000 Iloilo residents calling for the non-renewal of PECO’s franchise.
“We hope Congress will give consideration to the welfare of residents instead of protecting business,” said Alim.