Iloilo power issue clarified

March 12, 2020

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has insisted that More Electric and Power Corp (MORE Power) is the only legitimate electricity distribution utility in Iloilo City with a legislative franchise and has been given Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to distribute electricity to consumers.

In a radio interview, ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera said any legal issue or court case do not dilute their sole authority by law, specifically the Electricity Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), giving the commission the sole jurisdiction over electric distribution.

“We respect the cases pending in the lower courts but the fact remains that the ERC has the exclusive authority by virtue of the law when it comes to the supply of electricity and generation rates and operation of distribution utilities. We stand by our March 5 order that More Power should be the one which should supply the electricity in Iloilo City,” said Devanadera.

Devanadera said the ERC’s jurisdiction over the operation of distribution utilities is an established jurisprudence.

“More Power is recognized as the only Distribution Utility of Iloilo City. This should be clear among parties,” Devanadera said.

She said the ERC decided to issue this clarification to clear up confusion among Ilonggos as to which one of the two companies is

legitimately operating as Iloilo City’s Distribution Utility when they
pay their monthly bill.

Devanadera said that even if the law requires MORE Power to get a Certificate of Exemption from the Department of Energy (DoE) so it could sign power supply agreements with generating companies, the EPIRA Law also allows utilities to engage in emergency contracts between utilities and power suppliers to ensure no disruption of electricity service.

She said the DoE is expected to issue MORE Power its Certificate of Exemption as soon as the legitimate congressional franchisee.