PECO denies ‘fake news’ on refund to consumers

October 07, 2018
Panay Electric Company

THE Panay Electric Company (PECO) has issued a strong statement denying reports that it has not complied with the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) order to refund P631.33 million to its consumers.

PECO said it has reduced its generation rate in accordance with the ERC order.

It added that the amount to be returned is now down to P34 million and will be fully refunded by the second quarter of 2019.

PECO also claimed that the ERC is fully aware of this matter and has not sanctioned the firm for any alleged irregularities.

PECO also cited a certification given last 2016 of the ERC through the Distribution Management Committee for its 100% compliance with the Philippine Distribution Code.

PECO was one out of only five power utilities that received the award.

“If PECO was sanctioned by the ERC, they would not have given that merit,” said Engr. Randy Pastolero, the AVP-Operations & Compliance Head of PECO.

Pastolero also said that when ERC was contacted by PECO, the Commission assured the company that there is no such issue on the refund, and that PECO has been compliant with all ERC orders.

“The statement that a refund of P631.33 million has not been done is entirely false and simply shows that the person that accused PECO of such a fallacy is simply not familiar or has no experience with the power distribution industry. This is nothing but spurious PR and fake news,” added Pastolero.

Meanwhile, through several correspondences, Atty. Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, reminded Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, who chairs the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, of the alleged lack of due process regarding the franchise grant of MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MEPC).

Carpio expressed his dissatisfaction with the Alvarez panel’s apparent absence of effort to summon PECO and other concerned stakeholders to the ongoing hearings.

“Our information is that your committee has not exerted the requisite effort to see to it that invitations to committee hearings on the subject are properly sent to and received by PECO and other legitimate stakeholders,” the letter said.

The panel has allegedly ignored the letters from Carpio.

For almost a year, the committee has not acted on PECO’s application for a franchise renewal, while MEPC’s application has already been granted despite only having filed their franchise application a month ago.

House Bill (HB) No. 8132 was filed and hastily approved last September 2018.

It awarded the electricity distribution franchise for Iloilo City to MEPC.