By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ONE of the most trusted executives of Panay Electric Company (PECO) retired from his post amid the continuing legal battle between the Iloilo City power distributor and rival MORE Electric and Power Co. (MORE Power).
In a phone interview, PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo Cacho confirmed the retirement of Engr. Randy Pastolero as assistant vice president for operations effective today, July 25, 2019.
According to Cacho, Pastolero applied for retirement in 2018 but the management opted to extend his service.
“He is opting for retirement which he applied for last year pa from July. He already applied for retirement because gin-extend lang namon because we needed proper turnover of duties,” Cacho told Daily Guardian.
Cacho assured that Pastolero’s retirement has no effect on PECO’s operations.
“There will be no effect to our operations because almost one year na mung. In fact, the company has been taking proper measures since last year to make sure that operations will continue,” he said.
According to Cacho, they already installed two people who will take charge of Pastolero’s post.
“We already divided our operations for two heads rather than one lang, we have a head for implementation, and head for planning which are both internally sourced,” he said.
Cacho said Engr. Nilo Madrial and Engr. Aldren Deleste are now handling PECO’s implementation and planning divisions respectively.
He added that they are looking for two more persons to serve as “understudy” of the two heads.
PECO’s franchise and certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) already expired but the power firm continues to operate based on the authority issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
The provisional authority to PECO is valid until MORE Power establishes its own distribution system and completes its transition period which shall not exceed two years from the grant of the franchise.
On February 14, 2019, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte signed RA 11212 granting MORE Power the authority to establish, operate, and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, a distribution system for the conveyance of electric power to end users in the city of Iloilo.
The two firms are currently locked in various legal battles over the right to distribute power in Iloilo City.
Recently, PECO scored a legal victory against MORE Power’s plan to take over the former’s distribution assets after the Regional Trial Court Branch 209 in Mandaluyong City declared the provisions of RA 11212 as “void and unconstitutional”.
The Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) initially filed by PECO on March 6, 2019 against the franchise of MORE Power was also made “permanent” based on the decision of RTC-Mandaluyong.
Meanwhile, MORE Power is waiting for the decision of the RTC Branch 37 in Iloilo City on their expropriation case filed against PECO in a bid to acquire the power firm’s assets.