MANILA -- Panay Electric Company said Friday it should be allowed to continue operating until lawmakers decide whether it should be replaced by a firm controlled by billionaire port magnate Enrique Razon.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi was quoted in a newspaper report as saying that government might take over power distribution in Iloilo until the dispute between PECO and More Electric Power Corp is resolved.
PECO's 25-year franchise will expire on Jan. 18 while legislation is pending to grant such rights to More.
"The simplest solution, if there are no compromises yet made by both parties, no resolution in the Senate and congress, PECO would continue to operate. We cannot compromise the supply of electricity in Iloilo," said PECO administrative manager Marcelo Cacho.
Cacho said More had "zero experience" running a distribution utility.
"It's very different from operating a port. You need to have specific skill sets... You have to have technical layout of the areas you'll be distributing for," he said.
In a rare press statement earlier this week, Razon said 4 generations of Iloilo folk had "suffered" under PECO from overcharging, erroneous meter readings and power interruptions.
"PECO claims that More does not have the qualifications to run an electric company. We certainly never want to have the qualifications of PECO," Razon said.
"We are exactly the opposite of PECO because we have a track record of success in start-ups and large-scale projects not only in the Philippines but globally," he said.
Our sister company First Philippine Holdings is a minority stakeholder in PECO.