ERC stands by MORE

MORE Power said it has delivered 17,865,218 kilowatt-hours of electricity to Iloilo City from Feb 29 to March 8, 2020 (equivalent to 2,359 hrs). Panay Energy Development Corp supplied 68% of the electricity while 23.9% was through the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market WESM. Kepco-Salcon Power Corp accounted for 6.8% and Panay Power Corp with 1.3%.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) insisted Monday that More Electric and Power Corp (MORE Power) is the only legitimate electricity distribution utility in Iloilo City with a legislative franchise and has the authority to distribute power to consumers in Iloilo City.

In an interview with Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo, ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera said any legal issue or court case does not dilute the sole authority of the ERC over the power industry.

Devanadera cited the Electricity Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), which designated the commission as the quasi-judicial entity with the sole jurisdiction over the operation of electricity distribution utilities.

“We respect the cases pending in the lower courts but the fact remains that the ERC has the exclusive authority by virtue of the law when it comes to supply of electricity power and generation rates and operation of Distribution Utilities. We stand by our March 5 order that MORE Power should be the one who should supply the electricity in Iloilo City,” she added.

Devanadera said the ERC’s jurisdiction over the operation of distribution utilities is established in jurisprudence.

“MORE Power is recognized as the only Distribution Utility of Iloilo City. This should be clear among parties,” Devanadera said.

She said the ERC decided to issue the clarification to wipe away confusion among Ilonggos as to which between MORE Power and Panay Electric Co. is legitimately operating as Iloilo City’s Distribution Utility, especially when they pay their monthly bill.

Devanadera said that even if the law requires MORE Power to get a Certificate of Exemption from the Department of Energy so it could sign power supply agreements with generating companies, the EPIRA Law also allows utilities to engage in emergency contracts between utilities and power suppliers to ensure stable electricity service.

She said the DOE is expected to issue MORE Power its Certificate of Exemption soon being the legitimate congressional franchisee.