Iloilo power issue clarified

August 08, 2020

DISTRIBUTION utility More Electric and Power Corp. (More Power) yesterday accused Panay Electric Co. of lack of “etiquette” in continuing to engage for confusing Iloilo City power consumers.

MORE Power president Roel Castro said it has been two years since the company extended a “reconciliation hand” to PECO to benefit consumers but the former distributor of Iloilo City has refused to cooperate.

“The relationship of More Power and PECO should not be viewed as a corporate war. More Power has nothing to do with PECO. We are here in Iloilo City not because we are after PECO but we are after the sorry state of facilities here, plagued with complaints of poor service, customer case and high electricity rates,” explained Castro.

Castro admitted it is not easy and also painful for PECO management to lose its franchise after nearly 100 years in the business but PECO, as a public utility, should put the interest of consumers and Iloilo City above everything else.

Castro said a faction inside PECO continues to resist and insist on getting back the business and tries to mislead the public  even if most of their shareholders have already sided with More Power.

“There are consumers involved here, if PECO look at that perspective then they really should give way. We respect and understand that what they’re going through is painful, but at the end of the day, it’s the court and the regulator that will decide on the matter, whatever and whoever is affected should respect the decision,” Castro said.

Congress did not renew the legislative franchise it issued to PECO due to numerous complaints about its service including pole fires and brownouts caused by its dilapidated facilities and overbilling.

The Energy Regulatory Commission also revoked its certificate of public convenience while the Iloilo City government did not issue a business permit to PECO.

Castro also disputed PECO’s claims that More Power has no technical expertise to run the distribution system of Iloilo City.

He said MORE Power currently has 142 employees of which 70 are technical personnel of PECO which the new Iloilo utility firm absorbed and regularized.

“There’s no point of saying that MORE has no technical knowledge. Management and resources may have changed but we have the same technical people and engineers,” Castro said.

Castro called out PECO for its “tricks o-tactics” to smear the reputation of MORE Power  such as inflating the outage figures from February 16, 2020 to July 16, 2020.

He said PECO claimed MORE Power’s outages reached 412 hours although the power interruptions reached only 182 hours to show the alleged incompetence of More Power and once again deceive the public.

“Honesty is the best policy. I don’t know what they’re tactics are but one should really have their ethics. MORE Power will not go to that extent of lying,” Castro said.