The Iloilo City Council on Tuesday junked a resolution endorsing the grant of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power).
The resolution authored by Councilor Joshua Alim stemmed from the request of MORE Power president and chief operating officer Roel Castro to endorse their CPCN application.
Alim said the resolution was intended “to show to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) that we are supporting MORE Power’s application.”
The ERC, an attached agency of the Department of Energy (DOE), “is regulatory authority in the granting of CPCN to utilities engaged in the transmission or distribution of electricity in the country.”
Only two councilors voted in favor of the resolution. They were Alim and Plaridel Nava.
MORE Power is the new power distributor in the city by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 11212.
The law was signed by President Rodrigo on Feb. 14, 2019. It allows MORE Power to “establish, operate, and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, a distribution system for the conveyance of electric power to end users in [the city]” for 25 years.
Panay Electric Company (PECO), under the law, will be allowed to operate temporarily until MORE Power is in full operation to avoid power outages in the city.
During the two-year transition period, PECO 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.
Councilors R Leone Gerochi and Eduardo Peñaredondo believed that there was no need to hastily approve the resolution.
Gerochi disagreed with Alim’s claim that the absence of City Council’s endorsement might cause power interruptions in the city.
“If its CPCN will expire then all that PECO needs to do is renew its CPCN for two years,” he said.
PECO’s franchise expired in January this year. But despite this, it continues to operate as the city’s power distributor using its CPCN, which is valid until May 25 this year.
Peñaredondo is confident that the DOE would not allow the city to plunge into darkness once PECO’s CPCN expires.
“Be it by PECO or MORE. The government will not allow that. Dako nga ginamo sa siyudad,” he said.IMT