By Francis Allan L. Angelo
MORE Electric and Power Corp. said its early forays in the power distribution services in Iloilo City were met with customer satisfaction.
From the deployment of the company’s quick response teams and “real person” customer services, sentiments poured in for the firm, particularly on social media postings.
Barangay Captain Lilibeth Eduardo of Burgos, Lapaz was first to express delight with MORE Power’s quick response.
“May naglupok sa poste malapit sa eskwelahan sa amon barangay. Gintext ko lang ang MORE kag after 15 minutes ara na dayon sila kag nagkay-o. Gani pasalamat gid ako sa MORE (Some kind of explosion was heard coming from the electric post near the school of our village. I called MORE and after 15 minutes, they arrived and fixed the problem. That is why I am so grateful to MORE),” Eduardo said.
Barangay Captain Amadeo Sultan of Simon Ledesma, Jaro shared a similar experience when a fallen tree branch ignited a fire in an electric post.
“Ginatawag ko sa hotline sang MORE kag manami kay may nakasabat dayon kag pagkaligad 5 ka minuto, ara na dayon sila kag natapna ang pagdako sang kalayo. (I called the hotline of MORE and the good thing is that the call was immediately answered then some 5 minutes, their team arrived and quelled the fire).”
“Sa PECO dati ipasa-pasa ka pa kag kun maresponde man sila, madugay pa (Previously with PECO, we would be passed around and when they do respond, it takes time),” Sultan said.
More satisfied local netizens posted on social media their MORE Power experiences.
“Good job MORE! We hope that you keep up the quality service you promised to provide to the Ilonggos,” Joy Dionela Santiago wrote.
“Wait lang ha, na amaze gid ko sa serbisyo ni MORE Power Iloilo, nag message ko 19:45,20:25 siga na, wala nalab-otan 1 hour na restore nila ang power. Kung sa PECO ni, seen-zoned ka na tapos bwas pa masiga. Real talk! Hahahaha,” Jam Jimena posted.
“More Power is a very responsive power company, called customer service at around 9am regarding my powerline that was dangling from the power pole to my house, in danger of getting hit and snagged by high profile vehicles. Emergency crew came by and fixed the problem within 5 hours, what a relief, a far cry from the unresponsive phone line of PECO. More power to MORE POWER, Thank you so much,” wrote Butch Miranda Tan.
Iloilo City consumer Ronan Dumaguit posted on “MORE Power Iloilo” account a similar sentiment saying “Dasig gid sila mag-respond (They are quick in their response)! More Power! MORE Power Iloilo.”
Jet Beray also reached out saying “Shoutout to MORE Power Iloilo! 6:10am this morning, I sent a private message to their Facebook account requesting them to check our electrical line since we’ve been experiencing low voltage for several days. Then just a couple of minutes, they’ve responded. They asked for some details and informed me that they will forward my request to their response team. And just before lunchtime, they’ve addressed our concern! Kudos!”
In response, MORE Power thanked Beray explaining that low voltage caused by a loose connection was the culprit on the line side of the meter.
The company response got another round of gratitude with Beray saying it was “awesome service… MORE Power to you guys!”
With only days into service, MORE Power was also among the first to respond to the fire victims of Barangay General Hughes, Iloilo City Proper.
Barangay Captain Teresita Uy welcomed the team and received boxes of hot meals for the affected families.
MORE Power took over the operation of electricity distribution last February 28 after the smooth execution of the Writ of Possession issued by Iloilo Regional Trial Court Branch 23 Presiding Judge Emerald Contreras.
Unannounced brownouts to unresponsive customer service highlighted public sentiments against PECO’s 95-year service.
A visiting lawyer commiserated with locals by writing in one social media account how “PECO failed and continues to fail Iloilo City. Iloilo City deserves better power service provider one that is in keeping with Iloilo’s track of progress.”
Another businesswoman in the food industry lamented that many of the company’s appliances cannot be used already because of outages.
“When power is gone, we waste time, energy and money,” she wrote.
In a statement, Mayor Jerry Treñas said the Iloilo City Government now recognizes MORE Power as the new power distributor.
“The City Government would be transacting with MORE Power,” the mayor said while adding that unresolved legal issues are for the Court to decide.
MORE Power said it is committed to an improved distribution system reliability and minimization of franchise-wide outages.
City consumers are also assured of MORE Power’s commitment to lower power rates with guaranteed customer satisfaction.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed MORE Power’s franchise last February 14, 2019.
To recall a 2010 study was commissioned by the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. (ILED) to determine what PECO needed in terms of systems upgrade. The study by Singapore-based consulting group Parsons and Brinckerhoff focused on how PECO could improve network reliability.
ILED chairperson Narzalina Lim then disclosed during the public hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services how “that time, PECO’s reliability indices showed that its performance was below the Philippines’ overall and inferior to other main regional utilities. The frequency of interruption was especially high in PECO’s network. The study recommended that PECO consider various steps to improve its network performance.”
In 2018, ILED commissioned the same consulting group to undertake a review of PECO’s performance.
The significant findings indicated that while PECO’s network performance improved, “the services that PECO provides lags behind what distribution utilities (DUs) in key Philippine cities like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao provide. The gap widens even more when the comparison is made with DUs in the ASEAN region.”
The Senate Committee further heard how complaints validated by the study focused mostly on billing errors and the lack of empathy shown by PECO employees.
“Calling the hotline was even worse. There was nobody picking up on the PECO end,” the ILED report continued.
Incidentally, the commissioned study and its findings formed part of the hearing with ILED requesting the committee to consider it in granting MORE Power’s franchise.
“The economy of Iloilo is growing. We are no longer the sleepy town of years ago but a vibrant city that aims to take its place amongst the most competitive cities, not just in the Philippines but in Asia. This is our vision,” ILED said.
ILED is a public-private sector partnership founded in 2007 with a long-term vision to work on making Iloilo an attractive investment destination. The city mayor and provincial governor sit on the board along with the private sector representatives.
Congress twice denied the application of PECO and recently the Energy Regulatory Commission revoked its provisional Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.