MORE Power franchise awaits Duterte’s signature – Espinosa

The bill granting MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) a legislative franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City is now awaiting President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature, Mayor Jose Espinosa III said on Monday.

Once the President signed House Bill No. 8302 into law, Razon-led MORE Power will take over Cacho-led Panay Electric Co. (PECO), whose application for franchise renewal is still pending at the committee level in Congress.

“Based on the latest information that I received, the bill is already on the President’s table,” Espinosa said.

“As a lawyer, sa pag-intindi ko isa sa tatlo ang matabo dira. Pirmahan sang Presidente, i-veto niya or ipalapse niya.”

The mayor maintained that he is not taking sides with either of the two firms.

Basta ang aton lang ya, ang syudad sang Iloilo will not suffer from power interruptions,” Espinosa said.

The Mayor seemed to have no clear idea of what will happen when PECO’s franchise expires on January 19 this year.

“We are keeping in touch with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) para maupdate kita sa matabo. Matake over anay bala temporarily ang national goverment or pwede ang local government? Maextend ang PECO or mapungko na dayon ang MORE Power? Wala ta pa mabal-an.”

Under the bill, which was approved by the Senate and Congress last year, PECO will be allowed to operate temporarily until MORE Power is in full operation to avoid power outages in the city.

PECO, during the transition period, is required to “settle all refunds in connection with the cases filed against it.”

Meanwhile, MORE Power is directed to “accord preference” to hiring PECO employees and to conduct an information campaign regarding its operations to Iloilo end-users.IMT