DOE expects Iloilo electric service to improve with MORE takeover

The Energy Department is confident electricity customers in Iloilo City will experience better service under More Electric Power Corp. with its planned P1.8-billion modernization program.

“We are hopeful, but we have to see the improvements for its franchise area,” said Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella.

MORE submitted an investment program of P1.8 billion to imrpove Iloilo City’s distribution system. The agency has yet to start the full validation process amid the enhanced community quarantine that also affected Visayas.

Mario Marasigan, director of Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said even without validation, the agency had not received any negative information on MORE’s operations in Iloilo City.

The department is set to conduct the validation work on MORE’s planned modernization program. “Apparently, MORE’s operation is okay,” Marasigan said.

MORE Power president Roel Castro assured Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo Treñas and Iloilo City residents that the company would work on providing a reliable, safe and cheap supply of electricity.

“Ilonggos deserve the best from us. Nothing more, nothing less,” said Castro.

He said MORE is in Iloilo City to complement its economic boom by “investing P1.8 billion to modernize the city’s power distribution system to improve its efficiency, cut systems losses and give Iloilo a more reliable, safer and cheaper electricity supply than they got from the previous utility.”

He said the company would start with the replacement of all electric meters in the city with new meters that have been approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission to reduce MORE’s systems loss.

Former distributor Panay Electric Co. recorded systems loss of 9.03 percent, higher than the 6.5 percent cap set by ERC.

A technical scanning conducted by MORE with MIESCOR, the engineering company of Manila Electric Co., showed an extensive array of equipment and distribution lines that needed to be replaced to improve safety, reliability and efficiency of the distribution system.

Castro said these included rotten poles, undersized transformers, undersized conductors, old and dilapidated substations, among others.

Among the equipment that needed to be replaced or rehabilitated are 119 transformers all over the city that were found to be abnormally overheating, an indication of overloading, he said.

“PECO caused its own demise with its failure to reinvest its earnings from the nine decades of payments made by Ilonggos to improving Iloilo City’s distribution system. Its failure to do so made Ilonggos complain of frequent outages, high power rates and unsafe PECO lines and poles,” Castro said.

Topics: Department of Energy , DOE , More Electric Power Corp. , Iloilo City , Panay Electric Co. , PECO
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