Iloilo City residents should not fear Panay Electric Co.’s threats to shut down operations that could bring about a city-wide power blackout when its franchise expires on Jan. 19 next year, a city official said.
“We should not be afraid because of Peco’s peddling of blackout because government agencies have assured the people of Iloilo City that there will be no power blackout,” Iloilo City Councilor Joshua Alim said.
Alim, who staunchly opposed the renewal of Peco’s franchise, said the local power distributor was simply blackmailing Congress and Malacanang by threatening to black out the city.
Peco’s legal counsel Inocencio Ferrer earlier said Iloilo residents should blame the House and the Senate if the city suffered brownouts when Peco stops operating when its franchise expires.
Ferrer was also quoted as saying in local interviews that Peco would not sell its assets to its rival More Electric and Power Corp. and would explore all legal means to prevent expropriation of its distribution lines and systems by the new franchise grantee.
Alim said that Peco did not get its application for a new franchise approved by the House and the Senate because of its long record of bad service and abuse of its status as a monopoly.
Another Iloilo city official cited Peco for its alleged arrogance and lack of concern for the welfare of Iloilo residents.
“This kind of abuse and arrogance is no longer acceptable with Congress and the Senate approving the franchise for a new distribution utility company—MORE Power,” said Councilor Plaridel Nava during a hearing in Congress last month.
“For 95 years they have been abusive, arrogant. They do not deserve a single moment to stay in the city of Iloilo,. That is why we welcome MORE. We do not know any of them, but Iloilo City needs a power distributor utility who can address the concerns, who can be consumer-friendly,” Nava added.