DOE to step in to assure Iloilo City power supply
The Department of Energy (DOE) vowed to take over the distribution of electricity in Iloilo City, should the feud between the existing distributor and a firm being given a new franchise to bring power to end users take a turn for the worse.
In an earlier interview, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the DOE might have to run the facilities owned by Panay Electric Co. (Peco) if it resisted the turnover of these to new company More Electric Power Corp. (More), which the House of Representatives gave a franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City.
Peco’s franchise expires on Jan. 18, 2019.
Cusi said the DOE had already formed a task force with the National Electrification Administration to take over Peco facilities and operations in case the company refused to implement a transition plan envisioned in the franchise bill that Congress was seen to grant More.
“We are prepared to takeover, in case, to ensure there is no disruption of service,” Cusi had told reporters.
“We organized a task force to take over in case there will be no settlement in the issue,” added.
Cusi said he preferred that Peco and More reach an amicable settlement on a smooth transition plan that would not disrupt services in Iloilo City.
“That’s what we’d like to see,” the DOE chief said.
“For both parties to agree and submit their transition plan to ensure that there will be no interruption of service,” Cusi added.
Cusi gave an assurance that the DOE “will take over as a holdover” in case the two companies failed to agree.
The Senate version of the franchise bill approved by the House of Representatives for More sought to give Peco a temporary certificate of public convenience and necessity, valid for a year, to continue operations while turning over full operations to More.
The House committee on franchises had received numerous complaints against Peco, which has been distributing power in Iloilo since the 1920s. —With a report from Ronnel Domingo
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