Probe Iloilo power rates, ERC urged

October 09, 2018
Rally - Panay Electric Company
A group of protesters stages a rally outside PECO.

MEMBERS of Pinoy Aksyon for Governance and Environment (Pinoy Aksyon) yesterday trooped to the office of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to protest high electricity rates of the Panay Electric Company (PECO).

It also echoed the call of Iloilo power consumers on Congress not to renew the franchise of PECO.

The group said they are in solidarity with the power consumers of Iloilo to expedite the resolution of the complaints against PECO regarding the alleged 1,000% increase in their electricity and power outages.

Bency Ellorin, chairperson of Pinoy Aksyon, said “it is not just to increase power bills but at the same time that power services are frequently out.”

PECO consumers filed a complaint before the ERC last August. The ERC is set to hear the case this week.

An earlier petition by PECO consumers was addressed to Congress. In a petition-letter submitted to the House committee on legislative franchises, consumers called on Congress to disapprove the franchise renewal application of PECO, filed under House Bill (HB) No. 6023.

He explained that their group is helping PECO’s electric consumers bring their cause to the ERC and even to Congress where its franchise renewal is being deliberated on.

Pinoy Aksyon said they would like ERC to exercise its mandate as a regulatory agency by looking into the franchise of PECO.

“As a company engaged in delivery of public service, they should put first the interests of their consumers,” said Ellorin.

Among the complaints enumerated in the petition were alleged overbilling, billing without reading of electric meter, frequent power outages, poor consumer relations and disrespect to the City Council of Iloilo City.

Pinoy Aksyon is an independent advocacy group and think tank.

It promotes consumer rights, good governance and the right of the people to live in a healthful and balanced environment.