PROTEKTAHAN ANG KONSYUMER: Consumer group calls for ERC intervention


As the legal spat between the Panay Electric Co. (PECO) and More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) continues, a consumer group is calling for the protection of consumers in the franchise area.

To ensure the welfare of the consumers, consumer group I-Konsumidor filed a petition to Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for intervention as the two power firms fight over the right to supply the city with electricity.

PECO is the current power distributor of the city. However, MORE has been granted a franchise through Republic Act No. 11212, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte into law on February 14, 2019. This allows them to be the new power distributor of Iloilo, which PECO is contesting.

PECO filed an injunction to stop the distribution of its facilities to MORE.

“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,” Ted Ald­win Ong of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC-Iloilo) was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report.

FDC-Iloilo and lawyer Romeo Gerochi were credited to have prompted a 2009 ERC decision directing PECO to refund its consumers P631 million, which hasn’t been completed yet.

PECO said it will pay the refund full this year.

PECO has been distributing power in the city for 95 years. Its distribution franchise expired last January.