Close  

Blackouts feared as fight for Iloilo electricity franchise heats up

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 05:26 AM November 15, 2018

Controversy continued to hound the embattled electricity distribution firm of Iloilo with the dispute for control of the lucrative franchise threatening to leave the city’s residents literally in the dark.

In a press statement, the camp of tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. accused the owners of the Panay Electric Co. of blackmailing customers by threatening to disrupt operations once the firm’s current legislative franchise expires in January 2019.

ADVERTISEMENT

Razon owns MORE Power and Electric Co., which is eyeing the takeover of the Iloilo City electricity franchise that has been held by PECO’s Cacho family for almost a century. MORE officials accused PECO of neglecting its clients by failing to invest in new technology, which has resulted in poor service for the booming city on Panay Island.

This has been denied, however, by the Cacho family who contend that PECO is one of the best-run electricity distribution utilities in the country, and that issues raised against it—like past incidents of “over billing” clients by 1,000 percent—have been resolved.

FEATURED STORIES

“We at PECO reiterate  our commitment to the people of Iloilo City who have been with us for almost one century that we will not shut down any of our facilities (not unless legally stopped) contrary to malicious reports of parties who have been interested in giving the citizens fake news about our services,” company president and CEO Luis Miguel Cacho said. “We strongly believe in  fair play and will not let the people of Iloilo City be victims of greedy individuals and corporations who have resorted to squid tactics to derail our application for a franchise renewal.”

The latest controversy arose after PECO lawyer Inocencio Ferrer was quoted in local media as saying the Cacho family would never sell the company’s assets to Razon even if they fail to secure a new franchise from Congress.

The lawyer’s statement runs contrary to the statement of the Cacho family that there would be no power shutdown while in transition to the new franchise holder, said MORE. The House of Representatives has awarded MORE Power a legislative franchise to operate a distribution utility for Iloilo City.

Both the DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission assured there would be a smooth transition. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said they would prevent a city-wide blackout when PECO’s franchise expires.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: electricity, Enrique Razon Jr., Iloilo
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.