Iloilo awaits power firm’s presentation

Published November 26, 2018, 8:26 AM

by Patrick Garcia

By Tara Yap

Iloilo City—Amidst a tug-of-war for power distribution, the Iloilo City Council is awaiting the presentation of a new power firm on Monday.

“We welcome it. We listen to all project proponents that can benefit the people of Iloilo City,” said Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon.

MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE), owned by tycoon Enrique Razon, is in the process of being granted a congressional franchise as Iloilo City’s next power distributor.

MORE President Roel Castro said the November 26 presentation is going to provide “summary and outline of plans and programs to improve electricity distribution.”

Ganzon, who presides the council, wants Monday’s presentation to be a venue for the Iloilo City government and the Ilonggo consumers to know about MORE’s capabilities and get answers on key concerns.

“I’m interested to know where they will get their source and how they will operate when they don’t have a single facility,” Ganzon told Manila Bulletin.

MORE’s entry is challenging the 95-year presence of Panay Electric Co. (PECO), owned mostly by Iloilo’s Cacho family. But for decades, PECO has faced complaints on unscheduled power interruptions, overbilling and poor customer service.

While PECO President Luis Miguel Cacho earlier assured that PECO will continue its services even if its government franchise expires on January 2019, one of its lawyers made a contradicting statement.

Lawyer Inocencio Ferrer said PECO will not sell its assets to MORE and it will seek intervention from the Supreme Court of its constitutional rights.

PECO also criticized the Lower House and Senate for allegedly railroading MORE’s franchise application, which was only submitted last August. In comparison, PECO applied last July 2017.