Solons warn of looming power rate hike in Iloilo

October 18, 2018

TWO party-list lawmakers have warned of higher electricity rates looming in Iloilo City after the House committee on legislative franchises granted a franchise to an alleged mining firm that may takeover the operations of the Panay Electric Company (PECO).

COOP NATCCO Rep. Anthony Bravo and Aasenso Rep. Teodoro Montoro lamented the panel’s alleged lack of consultation with local power consumers in approving the franchise application of MORE Minerals Corp (MMC) that was later approved on third and final reading by the House of Representatives.

“It is unclear if all the stakeholders have been really consulted. For one, Iloilo City congressman Jerry Treñas was not there. Will the people of Iloilo also simply accept a new competitor? The people of Iloilo City must be made aware of their energy situation,” said Bravo.

Montoro said he is worried that power interruptions may hit Iloilo City during the transition period with MMC’s possible alleged takeover of PECO.

He was among the four lawmakers who opposed House Bill (HB) No. 8132 or MMC’s legislative franchise.

PECO lawyer Manases Carpio, husband of Davao City mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte, denounced the alleged railroading by the House panel in granting MMC’s franchise.

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Agnes Devanadera clarified that it did not castigate PECO over the issue of P631-million that the firm allegedly needs to refund its consumers.
“We wish to clarify that the said information dis not come from the ERC and that PECO was not castigated on the aforementioned matter,” said Devanadera.