ILOILO City – Come Jan. 19, 2019 when the franchise of power distributor Panay Electric Company (PECO) expires – and if it fails to secure a renewed franchise – what will happen to this city?
What if President Rodrigo Duterte won’t sign the franchise bill of MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power)?
Mayor Jose Espinosa III said he would be forming a crisis management team to make sure this city won’t plunge into darkness.
The team will be composed of representatives from business sector, the city government, police, and City Engineer’s Office, among others.
“Ang crisis management team magatan-aw kon ano ang palaabuton nga mga problema. We need to prepare. We should not be caught off-guard,” said Espinosa.
MORE Power’s franchise application has been approved by the Senate last week. The Senate version of the franchise bill would be reconciled with the House version then forwarded to the Office of the President.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently said this about the power distribution system in Iloilo City: “Ang nangyayari sa Iloilo I’m really trying to find out. Is it justified?…Because if it is providing good electricity eh gusto mo lang mang-agaw ng negosyo, sabi ko eh ‘wag na.”
PECO previously declared should it fail to renew its franchise, it won’t sell its assets to MORE Power that has admitted it has no power distribution equipment in place yet in Iloilo City.
“The crisis committee magatan-aw kun ano ang repercussions sini sa siyudad,” said Espinosa.
The city government itself has no capacity to take over and distribute power.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) proposed a two-year transition period from PECO to MORE Power.
PECO may be authorized to operate for two more years until such time MORE Power had established or acquired its own power distribution system or had completed its transition towards full operation.
ERC said it could grant PECO a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity covering such interim period./PN