Iloilo City aims to curb electricity pilferage

Published June 28, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY—The Iloilo City government is backing the program of new power distributor MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) to curb illegal connections, or what are known as “jumpers”.

Mayor Jerry Treñas inked an agreement with MORE Power President Roel Castro for the Iloilo Connect or “iKonek” program, which would make it easier for local residents engaged in electricity pilferage to legally apply for an electric meter.

The program is mostly for informal settlers, who do not own the land where their houses stand, as well as those who have low-load consumption.

Approximately 7,000 electricity consumers have already applied for legal connections out of the estimated 30,000 users of jumpers spread across the districts of Arevalo, City Proper, Jaro, La Paz, Lapuz, Mandurriao, and Molo.

According to Castro, illegal connections contributed to a system loss of approximately 20 megawatts (20 MWs) from the average 100 MWs daily usage of the city.

MORE Power has also attributed the numerous power interruptions to the electricity pilferage.

“Illegal connections are the main cause of unscheduled brownouts because the lines and transformers are overloaded. If we can lower the systems losses, it will translate to lower rates,” Castro said.

Meanwhile, Treñas sternly warned those still involved in electricity pilferage that they will face criminal charges. This was after two men were recently caught in Arevalo district as they were attempting to dismantle an electric meter.