Biz chambers learn from MORE Power’s forays

(From left) Atty Jobert Penaflorida, PCCI Region 6 Governor; Frank Carbon, Area Vice Pres for Visayas; Maricel Ngo, Region 8 PCCI Governor; Felix Taguiam of Decoline Inc.; MORE Power President and CEO Roel Castro; Ormoc City Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez, Leyte 4th District Rep. Richard Gomez, Quintin Pastrana of WEnergy Power Pilipinas, Carlos Vega of First Gen Corporation and Twinkle Chu, Ormoc City PCCI President.

The recent 31st Visayas Area Business Conference by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in Ormoc City, Leyte tackled a key ingredient in economic recovery in a post-pandemic scenario – power supply and distribution.

Atty. Jobert Peñaflorida, regional governor of PCCI Region 6, said the panelists and reactors in the forum included Leyte 4th district Rep. Richard Gomez, Carlos Vega of First Gen Corporation, Quintin Pastrana of WEnergy Power Pilipinas, Felix Taguiam of Decoline Inc. and Roel Castro of MORE Power.

Themed “From setbacks to comebacks: Getting business back on track,” one of the plenaries was on Innovations for Sustainable Energy Supply: Towards a Cost-Effective and Effective Energization of the Visayas.

The discussions explored the potentials of renewable energy sources coupled with the need to modernize distribution grids in the Visayas.

Castro described how MORE Power upgraded Iloilo City’s electric distribution services in the past 2 years and a half which he described as a perfect example of the conference theme which focused on innovations for sustainable energy supply toward a cost-effective and efficient energization.

He talked about the challenges and the things they initiated to transform not only the system but also the services to consumers.

He walked through his presentation how the firm was able to turn around everything from a situation with very high system loss, dilapidated and neglected facilities, dangerously overloaded systems, and high electricity rates.

Castro pointed out that there was no magic in Iloilo City’s experience.

“There was no magic but there were five things that we think we have – first is the financial capability because to rehabilitate the facilities, increase capacity and reliability, prepare for automation via a digital platform, and continuously train personnel, we need to invest and we invested over P1.3 billion so far,” he added.

“The second critical aspect is technical capability. We recruited personnel with a high level of integrity and technical expertise and employed reputable contractors with long technical experience. Next is to have an innovative mindset. Another important factor is to be socially responsible which I think is second nature to MORE Power”, Castro enthusiastically elaborated.

“We did this by optimizing the use of renewable energy and non-indexed sources, by consciously looking for facility and process solutions that would bring less destruction to the environment, and by constantly inculcating the benefits of sustainability to employees and the other stakeholders”, Castro explained.

Peñaflorida was very ecstatic about the turnout of the business conference.

“We are truly proud of Mr. Roel Castro’s presentation on what MORE Power has accomplished for Iloilo City in just a little over two years, they have greatly improved the facilities and services as well as significantly decreased the cost of electricity and they did it all during the pandemic,” Peñaflorida emphasized.

He also noticed how all other chambers in the Visayas wanted to replicate the success story of Iloilo.

“More Power’s strides in the power distribution sector are reflective of the continuing efforts of Iloilo to harness public-private partnerships as we all aim to recover together,” he concluded.

Iloilo PCCI President Mr. Fulbert Woo described MORE Power’s presence in Iloilo as “one of the ideals if not superb,” particularly the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts.