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PECO says protest vs alleged high rates baseless

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PANAY ELECTRIC Co. (PECO) has dismissed Tuesday’s protest against its alleged high power rates, noting that those who joined the rally in front of the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) Manila office are not involved in past complaints filed by consumers. “We know who the complainants are. So most probably those people have no relations to the ERC complaints,” PECO Corporate Communications Officer Mikel L. Afzelius said. A group called Pinoy Aksyon for Governance and Environment (Pinoy Aksyon) held the protest calling on the ERC to review the rates of PECO, the sole electricity distributor in Iloilo City. In a statement, Pinoy Aksyon Chairperson BenCy Ellorin said consumers are experiencing high power rates as well as frequent power outages. Mr. Afzelius said majority of complaints on erroneous billing have been resolved by the company, with 80 out of 86 protesting consumers agreeing to a settlement. “The ERC knows that very well,” he said. The PECO official also said their rates are lower than those of distributors in Metro Manila, Cebu, and the Western Visayas Region. — Louine Hope U. Conserva