New distribution utility MORE Power recently launched a campaign that aims to end power theft in the city. It may be recalled that power theft is already an issue ever since the time of Panay Electric Company – and despite the series of preventive maintenance conducted on different substations, power interruptions and power theft remains an issue.
MORE formed a task force group that will investigate on the series of trip-offs and outages. Moreover, the campaign intends to “attack the modus operandi of electricity pilferage at its core to address its financial impacts such as reduced income from the sale of electricity and the necessity to charge more to the electricity consumers and one of the causes of power interruptions and outages”.
It can be recalled that, according to Republic Act 7832, it is unlawful for a person to ‘tamper, install or use a tampered electrical meter, jumper, current reversing transformer, shorting or shunting wire, loop connection or any other device that interferes with proper or accurate registry or metering of electric current or otherwise results in its diversion in a manner whereby electricity is stolen or wasted’ – as mentioned in Section 2 (c) of Republic Act 7832.
The DU has already partnered with the Iloilo City Government under its iKONEK program to end electric pilferage and encourage consumers to secure regular accounts with MORE. The city even open a one-stop-shop for easy processing of applications – 10 to 12 days at most.
According to MORE President Roel Castro, the city government has made it easy for Ilonggos to secure the necessary documents to apply for an account, including Certificate of Residency, Government ID, Oath of Undetaking of Connection, to mention a few.
“For decades it is the legitimate consumers that had been paying for the electricity being pilfered from such illegal connections. And these illegal connections do not just burden legitimate consumers who pay for the stolen electricity, but it also takes a toll on the system which results in overloading. As we now have determined the majority of those who are behind this ‘organized business’ we are on our way, together with the city government of Iloilo, in targeting to reduce these illegal power connections by half in 2020. We are basically cleaning up the mess left by PECO,” states MORE President Roel Castro.