PECO’s franchise as sole powerdistributor in Iloilo City expired on Jan. 19 this year. It failed to secure anextension from Congress over several issues such as poor customer relations,erroneous billings, power failures, high rates, etc. * Amended Elevated Metering Center(EMC) Rules A pole of Panay Electric Co. dangerously leans in Jaro, Iloilo City. A passing container van hit a dangling cable on Wednesday night, Nov. 13, 2019, inadvertently dragging the pole, according to witnesses. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The team discovered lapses inPECO’s “operations and (in the) maintenance of its distribution system therebyposing danger and risks to the lives and properties of its consumers,”according to ERC chairperson and chief executive officer Agnes Devanadera. In an order dated Nov. 26, 2019,PECO’s directors and officers were required to explain why no administrativepenalties should be imposed and/or criminal action instituted against them forviolating pertinent provisions of the following: * some meters were found to beclustered and installed in an Elevated Metering Center (EMC) without securingprior ERC approval There is, however, a two-yeartransition period provided in the franchise law so as not to disrupt thedistribution of power in the city. ERC thus allowed PECO to temporarily operatevia a certificate of public convenience and necessity until MORE Power would beoperationally ready within two years from the date it was issued the franchise./PN * PECO’s protective devises werenot properly rated and designed ILOILO City – Panay Electric Co.(PECO) committed operational and maintenance lapses that endanger consumers’lives and properties, results of the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC)inspection here showed. For this, the franchise-less power distribution utilityfaces administrative and possibly criminal sanctions. The following were what the ERCinspection team discovered: * Philippine Distribution Code(PDC) 2017 Edition * some poles were found leaning andin unsafe positions ERC also discovered that theCertificate of Authority (CA) for PECO’s meter shop expired on Nov. 18, 2019and the company had not filed an application for the renewal of the same. “PECO must submit its explanationwithin 15 days from receipt of the Commission’s order pursuant to the relevantprovisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). We need to accordPECO the opportunity to explain its side before we evaluate the extent of theirliability for the operational lapses that were discovered,” Devanadera said. * Amended Distribution Services andOpen Access Rules (DSOAR) Congress instead granted MOREElectric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) a 25-year franchise to distributeelectricity in the city. President Rodrigo Duterte signed this legislativefranchise law, Republic Act (RA) 11212, on Feb. 14 this year. * ERC Resolution No. 12, Series of2009 (Guidelines for the Accreditation of Satellite Laboratories of MeterShops) ERC sent a technical team to thissouthern city last month following Mayor Jerry Treñas’ complaint over a seriesof pole fires. PECO’s electric distribution system was inspected.