By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — As the battle between two power distributing firms continues in court, a group made of different sectors is calling for the protection of consumers in this city.
The group, I-Konsumidor, submitted a petition to Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for intervention.
MORE Electric and Power Corp. is locked in a legal battle with Panay Electric Co. (PECO) over the right to supply the city with electricity.
More Power has been granted a franchise as Iloilo’s new power distributor, but PECO, the current distributor, is contesting the franchise in court.
It has filed an injunction to stop MORE Power from taking over its facilities.
“We want to ensure consumers are protected not only from PECO and MORE Power, but from other players using consumers to hide their business agenda,” noted Ted Aldwin Ong of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC-Iloilo), one of the groups behind I-Konsumidor that also consists of informal labor sector, urban poor, women, and the youth.
FDC-Iloilo and lawyer Romeo Gerochi were credited to have prompted a 2009 ERC decision ordering PECO to refund its consumers P631 million, which has not yet been completed.
PECO has assured it will pay the refund this year in full.