ILOILO City – After the then Vice President for Operations and General Manager of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) resigned in July, a big question cropped up – who is calling the shots as far as the overall technical operation of the distribution utility is concerned?
MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), which secured a 25-year franchise to distribute power here, asked the question in reaction to the accusation of PECO’s head of Public Engagement and Government Affairs Marcelo Cacho that the former was using the twin blackouts last week for black propaganda.
MORE Power, in response, said Cacho did not answer the issue raised: that PECO committed grave disservice to consumers because of its failure to manage the power outage.
PECO’s franchise expired on Jan. 19, 2019 yet.
“There is no need to taint the image of franchise-less PECO because the Ilonggo consumers know their state and are already fed up. From the balut vendor in Iloilo City to the President of the country, everybody knows how bad their services are,” MORE Power stated in a statement.
It added: “We know how complicated the operation of an electricity utility that is why this must be run by a competent and licensed Electrical Engineer.”
After Engineer Randy Pastolero left the company as Vice President for Operations and General Manager, there were questions whether technical operations were entrusted to a Master Electrician.
Under Republic Act 7920 or the Electrical Engineering law, the Electrical Engineering profession has three grades:
1) Master Electrician – who can handle / supervise electrical systems of up to 600 Volts only
2) Registered Electrical Engineer – who can handle / supervise up to 69,000 Volts
3) Professional Electrical Engineer – who can handle all electrical power systems, protections and coordinations, regardless of voltage
To recall, it was in the evening of Oct. 29 when Iloilo city suffered at least five hours of power interruption due to line faults in Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP); but NGCP said they restored power and were back to normal after 30 minutes.
On Oct. 30, the city was again plunged into darkness that lasted for almost 12 hours due to a fault in the NGCP Negros-Panay submarine cable but restored to normal after two hours.
Other power distribution utilities in Panay and Negros islands immediately resumed their power supplies and distributed to consumers but PECO went to normal operation after a long 12 hours, according to MORE Power.
Only 45MW of the power requirement of PECO is connected to the NGCP, it added./PN