Panay Electric given interim license to operate

Published May 25, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

An interim certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) has been granted to Panay Electric Company, Inc. (PECO) so it can continually serve the electricity requirements of end-users in the area.

The CPCN was issued to it by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and will serve as its license to continue operations – and that was on the strength of a resolution by the regulatory body.

The ERC, nevertheless, qualified that the CPCN will just have force until such time that franchise-grantee MORE Electric and Power Corporation could already establish its own distribution network and electricity service infrastructure.

ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera opined that “under the law, we are authorized to grant PECO the necessary provisional CPCN during the interim period, or until MORE Power (the legislative franchisee), has established and can fully operate its own distribution system.”

The ERC chief further noted that even the franchise of MORE Power under Republic Act 11212 has stipulations that “PECO, shall in the interim, be authorized to operate the existing distribution system within the franchise area, as well as implement its existing power supply agreements with generation companies that had been provisionally or finally approved by the ERC.”

The prescribed transition period for MORE Power to assume electricity service in Iloilo shall be for a period of two years from the grant of its legislative franchise – or that shall be until February 2021.

Devanadera emphasized though that the grant of the provisional CPCN “shall not be construed as extending the franchise of PECO which has expired on January 18, 2019,” with her adding that MORE Power may also “exercise its right of eminent domain wherein it may acquire such private property that is actually necessary to enable it to perform its obligation to provide uninterrupted supply of electricity in Iloilo City.”

Several conditions had likewise been enforced by the ERC on the CPCN bestowed to Panay Electric – primarily stating that such will just stay “for interim period” and in the interest of uninterrupted power supply for Iloilo.

PECO was further mandated “to settle the full amount of refund to the Commission’s order dated November 16, 2009,” and such shall be completed until June 30 this year.

Following that, the Cacho-led power utility company had been similarly directed to “submit a report within five days from June 30, 2019.”

Ultimately, it was further provided that “the provisional CPCN in favor of PECO shall be automatically revoked and shall cease to have any force and effect, subject to the provision of Section 10 of Republic Act 11212.”