Iloilo power firm’s franchise bid awaits President’s approval » Manila Bulletin News

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Iloilo power firm’s franchise bid awaits President’s approval

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By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY — The firm owned by port magnate Enrique Razon Jr. is awaiting the signature of President Duterte for it to formally acquire the government franchise to distribute power in this city.

Roel Z. Castro president and chief executive officer of MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), said the approval of its franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City is awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.  (Tara Yap)

Roel Z. Castro president and chief executive officer of MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power), said the approval of its franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City is awaiting the approval of President Rodrigo Duterte. (Tara Yap)

“It’s going to be transmitted to Malacañang for approval,” said Roel Z. Castro, president and chief executive officer of MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power).

The bills in the Senate and House granting the franchise were ratified earlier this week.

President Duterte’s approval will be the legal basis to transfer the franchise to MORE from Panay Electric Co. (PECO), which has been providing electricity to the city for the past 95 years.

“It needs to be signed into a law,” Castro told Manila Bulletin.

PECO is still seeking legal remedy after its application for the renewal of its franchise, which expires this January, has been stalled at the House.

“If the bill of MORE Power is vetoed [by President Duterte], we definitely have to continue to operate as a power distributor,” said Mikel Cacho Afzelius, PECO spokesman.

Even if the bill is enacted, MORE Power still cannot operate next year since there is a transition period, Afzelius said.

“We don’t really know when MORE Power will be able to operate since it does not have any power distribution assets,” Afzelius said.

PECO also vowed not to sell its assets to MORE Power, which PECO claims does not have any prior experience since it was formerly engaged in mining.

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