Senate approves MORE Power’s franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City

A bill granting More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power) a franchise to be a power distribution utility in Iloilo City has been approved by the Senate on third and final reading.

MORE Power is the competitor of Panay Electric Company (PECO), whose application for franchise renewal is still pending at the committee level in Congress.

The franchise of PECO, the sole power distributor in the highly urbanized city for more than 90 years, is set to expire on January 19, 2019.

House Bill No. 8302, sponsored by Senator Grace Poe, was approved on Monday, Nov. 26 with 15 affirmative votes, zero negative vote, and no abstention.

Poe is confident that the new power player will deliver better services to her fellow Ilonggos.

She believed that MORE Power, formerly known as MORE Minerals Corp., a subsidiary of the Ricky Razon-Walter Brown-led Monte Oro Grid Resources (MORE), is “very much capable” of distributing electricity in the city.

Under the bill, 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.

Congress approved MORE Power’s legislative franchise on Oct. 8 and transmitted it to the Senate the following day for its concurrence.

Once the bill is approved by the bicameral committee, it will be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature.IMT