PECO: We’re not in transition

Panay Electric Company (PECO), Iloilo City’s lone power distributor, is not amenable to the takeover of its assets by MORE Power.

PECO Corporate Communications Officer Mikel Afzelius said MORE Power, in the event its franchise is approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, “[has] every right to put up its own facilities and run a power distribution business.”

But he stressed that they would not allow their rival firm to expropriate their assets.

“Without a valid sale wherein the two parties actually agree, then MORE Power cannot touch PECO’s assets,”Afzelius said.

He disclosed that there are no talks and agreements yet between PECO and MORE Power.

Afzelius said PECO “is not in any transition.”

The Cacho-led power firm, whose franchise expired on Jan. 19, 2019, continues to operate in the city.

“Aside from the fact that the Department of Energy (DOE), through Secretary Alfonso Cusi, said that a government takeover of PECO’s operations is not necessary, we also still have a valid Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) which is basically the license to operate for any power distribution utility in the country,” Afzelius explained.

He claimed that “there is no other company with power distribution assets in [the city].”

“No matter what happens in legislation, again in reality PECO is still the only company that has facilities and equipment to run the power distribution business in the city,” Afzelius said.

PECO, which has been operating in the city for almost a century, reaffirmed its commitment to “genuinely serve the Ilonggos.”

“The company has been through worst times together with the ups and downs of Iloilo City and has never abandoned [the city],” Afzelius said

He assured that PECO would “continue to implement its projects regardless of the franchise renewal matter.”

“PECO still continues to invest. [It] has a P2-billion 10-year plan since 2017 which it continues to implement for the growth of Iloilo City,”Afzelius said.

“We continue to upgrade our lines, install new equipment, push forward with our smart metering program, build new substations and many more projects while managing the scheduled outages necessary in order for these projects to be implemented,” he continued.

Afzelius, meanwhile, noted that PECO increased its reliability ranking from top 20 in 2017 to top 15 in 2018 among more than 140 plus electric distribution utilities in the country.

“This simply does not happen by mistake, PECO has been constantly improving the reliability of Iloilo City year to year by continuously implementing these well studied plans,” he said.IMT