By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
MORE Electric and Power Co. (MORE Power) hopes that its new brand and look will redound to better services for Iloilo City consumers.
The power firm unveiled its new logo and plans in taking over power distribution services in the city in a press conference at Hotel del Rio on May 21, 2019.
MORE Power officials said the new logo is guided by its mission to maintain electric services in a friendly, safe, effective, non-discriminatory, cost-efficient, and helpful way.
The logo bears the colors light green, dark green, and yellow which represent sincerity and care for the environment, dynamism, and commitment to the consumers.
The power firm also laid down its various programs that would target the pressing need of the consumers from billing (More Kolek), application process (More Konek) and replacement of all the defective and aging meters (More Korek).
MORE Power President and CEO Roel Castro said they have started doing the ground preparations to make sure that they hit the ground running once they start the operations in the metro.
We want to hit ground. With the tremendous corrections that we have to do, I want to make sure that we hit the ground running on day one. As far as we are concerned, it is something calculated If we dont do anything and wait for the takeover, it might take six months or longer then I feel that is a bit unfair to the consumers having seen the state of the utility, he said.
Castro said they have already met with the barangay captains and have conducted meter mapping for over 63, 000 meters.
We have finished our meter mapping in all barangays and over 2, 000 meters were not functioning and 13,000 are defective. There are so many illegal connections and meters that are not functioning, that is the extent of work that we will do, he said.
But when asked for the exact date of the turnover, Castro could not provide a specific answer.
Right now, I cannot answer. There is an ongoing legal process. I cannot predict what the timeline will be as far as the cases are concerned, he said.
MORE Power is aiming to wrest power distribution services from long-time distributor Panay Electric Co. (PECO) after securing a congressional franchise via Republic Act 11212.
The Razon-led firm is also trying to secure a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), hopefully before the expiration of PECOs CPCN on May 25, 2019.
PECOs provisional congressional franchise already expired on Jan 19, 2019.
A CPCN serves as the permit for a distribution to officially start its operations.
According to Castro, the final hearing for their CPCN has already been finished and they are now awaiting the ERCs decision.
Tapos na yung hearing for CPCN. Its up to the ERC but there is no more order for another hearing. We will have to wait for the order. If we get an order, the CPCN gives us the authority or license to operate then we will, but if we dont have that, I dont think there is a legal basis for us to take over, he said.
Aside from the CPCN, MORE Power will have to tackle its legal battles with PECO of the Cacho family, especially the expropriation case it filed with the Regional Trial Court in Iloilo City on March 11 in a bid to acquire PECOs distribution assets.
PECO tried to stop MORE Power in its tracks by securing a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court Branch 209 on March 13.
But on March 28, MORE Power managed to secure a 60-day TRO from the Court of Appeals preventing the Mandaluyong City RTC Branch 209 from enforcing its TRO against RA 1212.
Amid the protracted battle between the two firms, Castro said they are very much willing for an amicable settlement.
Of course there is a room for settlement. As to reaching out, it has been publicly open, they know our numbers, he said.