THE CLAIMS of businessman Enrique K. Razon Jr. against Panay Electric Co., Inc. (PECO) are “exaggerated and misleading,” and based on false data, the Iloilo City distribution utility yesterday said in response to his assertions Friday.
Mr. Razon, in Nov. 23 statement, enumerated the alleged shortcomings of the utility, including subjecting four generations of Ilonggos to high power rates, poor service, and constant power failure.
“Our company stands out among over 140 distribution utilities in the Philippines, a fact duly recognized by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) when we were awarded 100% Fully Compliant in securing and insuring reliability of power supply in our franchise area,” PECO said, noting that only four other distribution utilities have received such award.
PECO also said that it has been providing the needs of Iloilo City’s households and business establishments for nearly a century, and Mr. Razon’s mining company is simply attempting to take over PECO’s franchise through questionable means.
Mr. Razon earlier said his company, Monte Oro Resources & Energy, Inc., has a track record of success in start-ups and large-scale projects not only in the Philippines but globally.
PECO also questioned the businessman’s claim of 1,800 registered customer complaints lodged against it.
«In fact, there were only 194 validated complaints with the ERC out of 64,000 customers, or .003% of total subscribers. To-date, only 25 are pending ERC decisions with some involving power pilferage,» it said.
It cited ERC records indicating that as of 2017, PECO’s retail rates without value-added tax per kilowatt-hour was P8.2079, much lower than Siquijor Electric Coop. Inc.’s P14.0763, which it said was the most expensive in the Visayas, and just slightly higher than Visayan Electric Co. (VECO) of Cebu at P8.1387
“Mr. Razon can easily check data from the Distribution Management Committee of the ERC regarding the electric reliability figures of the country,” PECO said.
ERC data show, PECO said, that the country’s system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) is 5,135.43 minutes, contrary to Mr. Razon’s claims of 54 minutes. It also said the system average interruption frequency index (SAIFI) at 40.31 incidents is contrary to his figure of 2.18 incidents.
The figure puts Iloilo City’s total SAIDI of 1552.86 minutes and SAIFI of 31.71 far below the national averages, PECO said.
Also, PECO said its system’s loss for 2017 was at 8.37%, below the ERC cap of 8.5%.
The company also countered Mr. Razon’s claim that it uses 95-year-old equipment, saying that it had fitted out 450 kilometers of electrical lines, 20,000 poles, and 1,300 distribution transformers that serve over 64,000 homes and businesses of Iloilo City.
It said the assets are regularly upgraded, replaced, and added to, as system needs change.
“Mr, Razon is now resorting to feeding the public wrong information to justify his railroading in congress that could lead to the illegal take-over,” it said.
It said what the public does not see is the apparent disregard of the law by some legislators who rushed the approval of MORE’s franchise application, “without consultation with stakeholders, banking on false statements by some local politicians.”
PECO said despite its compliance with the House committee’s requirements for the franchise renewal, legislators sat on the company’s application.
It added that in contrast, MORE applied for a franchise only on Aug. 22, 2018 and was approved by the House of Representatives on Oct. 8, 2018, or less than two months after filing. — Victor V. Saulon