‘No citywide blackout’:PECO to continue operations

Panay Electric Company (PECO), the sole power distributor in Iloilo City, said it would continue operating even if its franchise expires.

“We will definitely not stop,” PECO Corporate Communications Officer Mikel Afzelius said in an interview with IMT NEWS on Wednesday.

The franchise of PECO to distribute power in the city is set to end on Jan. 19, 2019.

Afzelius dispelled fears of a “citywide power blackout.”

He said PECO made a “commitment” to its consumers that it would not cease its operations.

“We can’t afford to let the city get plunged into darkness,” Afzelius stressed.

He said there were previous instances where some other power distribution utilities in the country were allowed to operate despite having expired franchises.

“But eventually, the extension of their franchises was approved,” Afzelius continued.

At present, the bill extending PECO’s franchise is at the committee level in Congress.

According to Afzelius, their Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), which was issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), is still valid.

“We will use that to operate,” he said.

PECO’s CPCN will expire on May 25, 2019.

The franchise of PECO’s rival firm, MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), also remained hanging.

Last year, the Senate and Congress approved House Bill No. 8302 granting the franchise of MORE Power, replacing PECO as the sole power distributor in the city.

The bill still needs President Rodrigo Duterte’s signature before it takes effect.IMT