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ERC Resolves PECO-MORE Standstill, PECO to Contest

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has recently revoked the temporary certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) and issued a provisional authority (PA) to More Electric and Power Corp to continue operations in Iloilo City.

“After determining that MORE has established or acquired its own distribution system and verified MORE’s complete transition to full operations. The ERC Inspection Team has, likewise, verified MORE’s full readiness and capability in aspects of development, operation and maintenance of distribution systems,” states ERC Chairman Agnes T. Devanadera, in an article by Business Mirror. The order was dated March 5 after technical personnel conducted an ocular survey of the distribution network.

By far, the inspection team has submitted a report confirming that More Electric and Power Corp has gained full possession and control of the five (5) substations in the five districts of Iloilo City.

More Power President and Chief Executive Officer Roel Z. Castro also shared a few words.

“We ensure they get reliable, stable and continuous supply of electricity. MORE Power has made sure we have power supply agreements so the Ilonggos can breathe free they will have no power supply problems under our care,” states Roel Z. Castro, More Power President and Chief Executive Officer, in the same Business Mirror article. Read more: ERC resolves MORE-PECO impasse to ensure no Iloilo power disruption.

Circumstances that led to the decision. It can be recalled that the franchise of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) was not renewed (May 21, 2019) but was given a provisional CPCN. The CPCN is valid until MORE is able to establish its own distribution system. MORE, on the other hand, has secured a legislative franchise to operate (February 14, 2019) a distribution system in Iloilo for 25 years.

On February 20, 2020, the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court Branch 23 has authorized MORE to take possession of PECO properties (Category A and B). The Writ of Possession was served by the Iloilo Sheriff last March 2, 2020.

PECO to Contest ERC Order. In an article published by Manila Times, it was revealed that Panay Electric Co. will contest the decision of the Energy Regulatory Commission. According to PECO Legal Counsel Estrella Elamparo, the ERC order was not yet final and MORE has ‘no legal basis’ to takeover since the issue is still pending with the Supreme Court.

Elamparo also added that MORE has no CPCN and has no right to provide distribution services. The lawyer also stressed that MORE does not own any power distribution facility and does not have enough employees to operate the five substations in Iloilo City. Read more: Panay power firm to contest ERC order. 

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