ILOILO City – MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) said it is ready to work with Panay Electric Company (PECO) for a smooth transition of the power distribution system in this city next month.
The corporation is ready, too, to absorb PECO’s workers, according to MORE Power president Roel Castro.
PECO’s franchise expires on Jan. 19, 2019.
MORE Power’s franchise application, on the other hand, was already approved by the Senate on third and final reading. It is expected to reach the Office of the President for signature after the bicameral committee would have reconciled the House and Senate versions of the franchise bill.
“We definitely want to work with (PECO) to ensure a very, very smooth transition from them to us. We have the people. We have training programs in place too,” Castro said in response to the remarks of PECO administrative manager Marcelo Cacho during an interview with ANC’s Business Nightly anchor Cathy Young on Nov. 26.
PECO, the sole power distributor in this city for nearly a century, is not giving up its franchise area without a fight. According to Cacho, a lengthy legal battle may displace PECO workers.
“We have actually written our employees…We will be paying everybody and we won’t be cutting off anybody (from PECO). A section in the MORE bill states PECO will continue to operate for two more years in the transition period, worst case scenario,” said Cacho.
Castro vowed better service to city residents. Specifically, he said, they aim to reduce the systems loss from the current 9.30 percent to below the loss cap set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Castro said MORE Power would also improve power reliability from 31.15 times (System Average Interruption Frequency Index) to the Philippine Standard of 2.4 times, and 1,162 minutes of SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) to the Philippine standard of 54 minutes.
MORE Power would also increase the power substation capacity such that they do not exceed 70 percent normal loading; correct all unsafe electrical installations; and correct voltage quality to within +/-10 percent at 230 volts, added Castro.
To reduce systems loss, MORE Power is poised to do immediate rehabilitation of metering points and service drops (230V) and wage an anti-power pilferage campaign.
The company also vowed to correct dilapidated and unsafe primary (13.8kV) and secondary poles and lines (230V), and clear poles in coordination with telecommunications and cable television companies.
For the power rate reduction, Castro said MORE Power would target majority of its power requirements from new bilateral contracts and will source considerable capacity of the requirements from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), especially when market prices are low.
Castro said MORE Power would also explore contracting supply from renewable energy sources which are free from the value-added tax.
Ilongga senator Grace Poe, chairperson of the Senate public services committee, believed MORE Power would deliver efficient service that Iloilo City residents longed for.
“There were many complaints that PECO failed to give good service, their assets did not improve, and even the power distribution which triggered brownouts. They have also been charging high rates which were not appropriate,” Poe said.
On the other hand, she said, senators “found MORE Power very much capable of providing and supplying the electricity needed by the Ilonggos.”/PN