Power Crisis

The power distribution tug-of-war between Monte Oro Resources and Energy (MORE) and Panay Electric Company (PECO)
The power distribution tug-of-war between Monte Oro Resources and Energy (MORE) and Panay Electric Company (PECO)

Many are now lead to believe that by January 19, 2019, Iloilo City will have no more electricity supply as the 25-year franchise granted to Panay Electric Company (PECO) will come to end. They claim, one of the lawyers of PECO in the person of Atty. Inocencio Ferrer has threatened that Iloilo City is facing an inevitable power black out should the power firm’s franchise is not renewed.

The statement of Ferrer is but logical. How can PECO operate without a franchise? However, the burden does not belong to PECO anymore. The inexperienced mining firm Monte Oro Resources and Energy (MORE) of gambling magnate Enrique Razon whose influence and money turned Congress into a meek puppy in making its dignified men and women approve MORE’s franchise application for power distribution while sitting on PECO’s franchise renewal bill must be made to answer.

Elementary business rules tell us that a legitimate socially-sensitive business like power distribution must first show sincerity to their market by calling on the local leaders and present their business plans and initiate earnest infrastructure before making further moves.

Iloilo City came to know of MORE and Razon and their railroading antics at the House of Representatives through the national media of which the local media followed the breaking story.

They presented a Chief Operating Officer in the House hearings in the person of Eric Bucoy from the Aklan Electric Cooperative (AKELCO), who does not even knew he has a designation and a new job.

Now, they hired a “reformed” rebel and leader of Rebolusyonaryong Hukbong Bayan, another New Peoples Army (NPA) splinter group and former General Manager of Pampanga Electric Cooperative II (PELCO 2) Amador Guevarra as its power manager. Guevarra led PELCO 2 to a staggering P2-billion debt, which resulted in the eventual takeover by MERALCO of its operation.

Today, MORE and Razon have not erected a single electric pole in the city and all they want is to simply grab and take over the facilities of PECO, which according to them, are in the state of decay.

MORE declared that such “decaying” facilities of PECO are the cause the of its inefficient services. Why use it instead of building a brand new one?

Today as PECO’s franchise nears its end, the honorable members of the House of Representatives and the Senate together with MORE and Razon must be made to stand in front of the people of Iloilo City and its leaders and be held responsible in ensuring continuity of power supply in case PECO will not choose to sell their assets and facilities and contest the broad daylight robbery committed against them.

The burden of ensuring that no power black out will happen in Iloilo City is no longer with PECO but with MORE and the money-hungry or simply naive and stupid members of Congress who approved the power distribution franchise of the inexperienced mining firm to distribute electricity in Iloilo City.