From 2010 to 2019, Rey Silvias never felt safe and empowered while working for Panay Electric Co. (PECO).
He never had the standard personal protective equipment (PPE) apart from the measly minimum wage he received since joining PECO as an on-job-trainee.
He started training as operator of the substation and sometimes as replacement due to lack of personnel. He also worked in the transformer shop and as a lineman and troubleshooter.
He stopped working in 2010 then returned in 2013 working alternately in as troubleshooter and substation personnel.
Rey started with a minimum daily wage of P150 which was increased to P395. He only enjoyed pay hikes every time there are adjustments to the minimum wage.
Before MORE Electric and Power Corp took over the power distribution services in Iloilo City in February 2020, he worked for a government agency as a job hire. PECO tried to hold on to him and promised to make him a regular employee, but he declined.
But when MORE Power took over, he was enticed to join the firm as he saw better opportunity and career advancement.
Now, he enjoys a daily wage of P750 per day compared to P365 under PECO. On the average, he receives P20,000 monthly net pay, including overtime pay.
He was also given a hard hat, safety shoes, gloves, and goggles which he uses when working.
“That’s the reason why I did not cut the tag in my new safety shoes just to show my former employers that I’m in a better situation now. I feel protected and more empowered now,” he said.
Rey is just one of the many PECO workers who transferred to MORE Power in February 2020. Apart from having a heart for the workers, these workers were absorbed on orders of the Regional Trial Court which granted a writ of possession to MORE Power in taking over distribution utilities in Iloilo City.
MORE Power is helmed by its president and chief operating officer Roel Castro who has more than 15 years of experience in the power industry, particularly with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Palm Concepcion Power Corp.
Castro also has a broad range of experience in general management with specific experiences in the following sectors: power and energy and renewable energy.
His areas of interests are on project development and he also has extensive work in corporate planning, strategic planning and organizational development.
MORE Power’s Network Operations head is Engr. Edwin M. Montemayor who has degree in Electrical Engineering
Montemayor used to be the assistant general manager of Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc.,
Overall, he has 42 years of experience in the power industry.
The Project Development and Management Department is headed by Professional Electrical Engr. Rey H. Jaleco, a 42-year veteran who used to be with NGCP as District Senior Manager-Division Head III.
He served as senior technical expert and manager of the district and also the main representative of NGCP for the Visayas region.
MORE Power’s Network Operations and Project Development Management department are composed of:
-3 Professional Electrical Engineers (PEE)
-29 Registered Electrical Engineers (REE)
-14 graduates of either Industrial Technology; Industrial Electronics; Applied electronics; and electronics technician (11 of them are registered Master Electricians)
-1 Registered Civil Engineer
-1 Computer engineer
The company also employs 2 Electronic and communication Engineers, 2 Computer Engineers, and five certified public accountants, (CPA) and a Registered Nurse.
Prior to the start of operation, MORE Power said it ramped up its manpower by hiring key personnel to prepare for the key business processes, operations, and network development plan.
Prior to the February takeover, MORE Power already has 67 organic employees on board. To further equip the competence of its people, it conducted trainings, capability improvement, and immersions of its employees to enable them to be abreast with the industry’s best practices.
MORE Power aims to forge a workforce that is well-rounded, and consumer-welfare oriented through the following programs, trainings and activities:
-Training of Trainers Program,
-Basic Occupational Health and Safety,
-Key Account Management & Personality Development,
-Benchmarking with other DUs such as VECO, MERALCO, BENECO and CENECO, among others.
ABSORBING PECO PERSONNEL
MORE power estimates a total of 229 positions to be filled, with 162 positions left vacant to accommodate personnel displaced during the transition.
The hiring of PECO personnel is in accordance to the provisions of Section 17 of Republic Act 11212 and the Addendum of the Writ of Possession.
RA 11212 gave MORE Power the congressional franchise to run distribution services in Iloilo City.
To ensure uninterrupted operations and service to the electricity consumers of Iloilo, MORE Power has prioritized the hiring of incumbent employees of PECO who are qualified, competent and willing to work for MORE Power to provide services to Iloilo City consumer and industries.
MORE said it also hired the third-party personnel of PECO to retain institutional, operational and technical knowledge.
MORE Power also said it employed the services of the third-party service providers to augment the services in case of surges and extraordinary works.
This convinced the Energy Regulatory Commission that MORE Power is indeed technically capable to run the distribution and operation of electricity in the City.
Based on information gathered by MORE Power from former PECO employees, PECO’s technical structure in January and February 2020 only had 20 employees with only 1 Professional Electrical Engineer.
The Operations Department included a certain Nilo C. Madrial who was a consultant for Operations Implementation (Registered Master Electrician only) but his functions are:
-gives command and clearance during switching (turn OFF/ON) of the 69kV/13.2kV substations and distribution feeders.
-manages and approves troubleshooting and maintenance activities at 69kV/13.2kV levels.
– APPROVES INTER-OFFICE REPORTS, CAPEX, OPEX, LEAVE AVAILMENT (SICKNESS/VACATION LEAVES) etc.
Functions are supposed to be carried out by a professional electrical engineer or a registered electrical engineer, and not by a Registered Master Electrician.
PECO’s manpower complement also includes:
1 PEE (Professional Electrical Engineer)
-1 Operations Manager for Planning
-4 Analysis & Design Engineers
-4 Line Engineers
-4 Switchboard Operator
-1 Meter Laboratory Engineer
-1 Compliance Head
-1 Compliance Staff
4 RMEs (Registered Master Electricians)
-1 Consultant for Operations Implementation (Nilo Madrial)
-1 Outage Control Coordinator
-1 Meter Laboratory Assistant
1 Electrician (Not RME licensed) assigned as transformer shop crew.