More Electric Power Corp., a company headed by billionaire Enrique Razon, is prepared to offer cheaper power rates to Iloilo City residents, a top executive said Friday.
Cyril del Callar, More chief compliance regulator and former National Power Corp. president, said the company would immediately move to reduce electricity rates in Iloilo City by securing electricity supply from the cheapest sources, including from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market where power rates sold were lower by P4 per kilowatt-hour.
“We already received an offer from three [power generating] companies to supply the cheapest electricity to Iloilo residents,” Del Callar said.
He said it was the residents of Iloilo City who started the campaign to replace power distributor Panay Electric Co. because they had been paying high electricity bills and receiving bad service for the longest time.
Del Callar said these consumer complaints formed the basis of the Iloilo City Council resolution in November 2017 that asked Congress not to renew the franchise of Peco and the national government to take over its operation.
Del Callar said the complaints under the resolution prompted More to apply for a congressional franchise to distribute electricity in Iloilo City to address these consumer complaints and help lower Iloilo City’s power bills while improving electricity service.
He said Ilonggos had been paying electricity rates of P13 per kWh since 10 years ago, while residents in Metro Manila were paying only about P11 per kWh.
More secured a franchise for the Iloilo City electricity distribution business from the House of Representatives on Oct. 9. The Senate also approved the franchise on second reading.
Razon earlier said Iloilo City residents had suffered from Peco’s “poor services, overcharging of power bills with some reaching more than 1,000 percent, accumulated billings due to erroneous meter readings, technical failures, poor customer service, high electricity rates, constant power interruptions and unexplained charges” for decades.
“If Peco had been doing a good job, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to apply for this franchise and transform it into a modern, efficient, low cost and state-of-the-art distribution network,” he said.
“Four generations of Ilonggos have suffered under Peco. Neither are they heard by Peco, who has not addressed the many pending complaints – numbering 1,800―against it… Clearly, it is time that the Ilonggos are relieved of their misery,” Razon, who also chairs port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc., said.
Razon also rebuffed the claims of Peco that More did not have the qualifications to run an electric company.
“We certainly never want to have the qualifications of Peco. 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,” Razon said.