Panay Electric Co. (PECO) said will not to sell its power distribution assets in Iloilo until the franchise dispute in the area is resolved.
This was the response of Marcelo Cacho, PECO head of public engagement and government affairs when asked if they are willing to reconcile with More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE) if the latter makes any offer to buyout the assets.
Cacho said PECO is interested in reforming the industry than in taking any offer from MORE to settle the ownership issue.
“The utility industry of the Philippines needs to change a bit, it needs to be more customer-centric. We need to be more open to new technologies, to new formats especially with how everything is going along with our net metering, with energy savings. …We don’t feel it’s the time to get out but we’ve felt it’s the time to start changing the industry,” Cacho said.
At present, PECO is operating under a two-year temporary certificate of public convenience and necessity from the Energy Regulatory Commission to allow MORE – the distribution utility issued a franchise to operate in the city — a transition to its full takeover of the electricity distribution operation including poles, wires, substations, electric meters and lands, among others for an amount that they will agree with.
MORE maintains it has power of eminent domain and can already takeover PECO’s assets since the former was the firm granted with the franchise to operate the DU in Iloilo.
PECO questioned this in court.
Cacho said the decision for the expropriation issue will become a landmark case and will create a precedent for similar cases in the future.