By: Emme Rose Santiagudo
ILOILO City Mayor Jose Espinosa III will seek a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte in the light of the ongoing tug-of-war over power distribution services between the two private firms.
Espinosa said he would be communicating with former Special Assistant to the President Secretary Christopher “Bong” Go in the hopes of meeting the President.
“I will call Bong Go nga matagaan ko sang tinion nga makaistorya kay Presidente in one hour and a half time lang kay gusto ko gid mamangkot kag mabal-ang sitwasyon sang kuryente diri sa siyudad,” he said.
Panay Electric Co. (PECO) and MORE Power and Electric Co (MORE Power) are locked in a battle for the franchise to distribute power in the city.
The franchise application of MORE Power has already been approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate Committee on Public Services and is awaiting the signature of the President.
Meanwhile, PECO’s application for renewal remains pending in the House Committee on Congressional Franchises.
Aside from Mr. Duterte, the mayor said he also wants to share his concerns with the Department of Energy and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
“Gusto ko lang mabal-an maybe ang mga preparasyon sang ERC and gusto ko man mambitar si DOE Sec. Alfonsi Cusi to explain to us kay kinahanglan mabal-an gid naton kon ano gid ang matabo sa transition ukon take-over nga ina,” he said.
Earlier, the DOE and ERC assured that power distribution in Iloilo City will continue if PECO fails to renew its franchise by January 19, 2019.
Lawyer Gregorio Ofalsa, officer-in-charge of the Consumers Affairs Service of the ERC, also assured that they will not allow Iloilo City to plunge into darkness.