More denies PECO claim

August 26, 2020

ILOILO City’s distribution utility More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) yesterday deplored the claim of its rival Panay Electric Co. (PECO) that systems  electricity losses jumped the highest under the new utility starting last March.

MORE Power spokesperson Jonathan Cabrera said the claim by PECO’s ally consumer group Koalisyon Bantay Kuryente (KBK) that the city’s systems electricity losses jumped to 12% when the new utility started operations in March this year was incorrect as it was based on a wrong formula and a wrong interpretation of the ERC’s own official rules.

KBK president Jose Allen Aquino claimed in a press conference that Ilonggos lost a lot when their monthly bills allegedly rose unreasonably from the high rate of systems losses amounting to 12% charged by MORE Power to residential, business and industrial users.

Cabrera said this is another lie dished out by PECO to consumers as the company is charging only 6% systems loss compared to the 6.25% cap issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

He said MORE Power’s 6% systems loss charge will further go down to 5.5% in 2021 and to 4.75% in 2022.

MORE Power’s spokesperon insisted the system loss presented by KBK was based on the wrong formula and selective reference to ERC resolutions as Aquino used the number in the systems loss charge in MORE Power’s monthly bill and divided it against the generation charge.

In reality, Cabrera noted, the systems loss charge is proportional to both the generation and transmission charge, and not just on generation charge alone as shown in Aquino’s formula.

Using the same formula, PECO’s last systems loss for the month of February 2020 would have reached 8.13%, a rate much higher than the 7.17% that Aquino presented as MORE Power’s systems loss.

MORE POWER president Roel Z. Castro renewed his public appeal to PECO to reconcile with MORE Power instead of resorting to publicity gimmicks like the fake news on MORE Power’s systems losses.

“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 looks 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,” he said.

Congress did not renew the legislative franchise it issued to PECO due to numerous complaints about its service.

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