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PECO bucks ERC’s findings of operational lapse


PANAY Electric Co. (PECO) refuted the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) recent order to explain operational lapses in providing electricity services to Iloilo City.

“We will be communicating our clarification point-by-point in a letter that we will be sending to the ERC very soon,” PECO said in a statement on Thursday, adding several “valid points” discovered by the agency’s inspection team were not taken into consideration before promulgating the order.

“We communicated to the ERC that should they need further clarification on certain matters, we are very much willing to cooperate as we have been doing so consistently,” it added.

According to PECO, there were multiple protective devices in place that have proper ratings and designs for each of its feeder lines down to its secondary lines.

“Moreover, the fires that happened didn’t involve PECO’s lines as most of them are attributed to the improper bundling of telecom and cable lines which oftentimes short out,” the company said.

“We would like to point out that with our current protective devices in place, the lives and properties of our valued consumers were never affected in all the fire incidents related to this matter not unless the fire comes from within the consumers’ structure already,” it added.

In the case of failed voltage tests in certain locations, PECO claimed the areas with low voltage levels that were visited by the ERC’s technical group were actually in areas that had electrical pilferage present, which resulted in the dropping of the voltage level due to the unregistered loads in the areas.

In the issue of leaning poles and those erected in unsafe locations, the power entity said it conducts a regular pole replacement and relocation program annually to cope up with the Department of Public Works and Highways’ projects being implemented across the city.

“We also have maintenance activities in order to straighten certain poles that tend to lean after some time,” it added.

Furthermore, PECO noted it filed for 40 Elevated Metering Center (EMC) sites during the last regulatory period and that it has been constantly coordinating with the agency’s Visayas Head Office for the completion of requirements for renewing its Certificate of Authority for its meter shop.

Earlier, ERC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Agnes Devanadera reported that its technical team that conducted the ocular inspection discovered that PECO “committed lapses in the operations and maintenance of its distribution system, thereby posing danger and risks to the lives and properties of its consumers.

According to the regulator, PECO violated certain provisions of the Philippine Distribution Code 2017 Edition, Amended Distribution Services and Open Access Rules, Amended EMC Rules and ERC Resolution 12 series of 2009 or the “Guidelines for the Accreditation of Satellite Laboratories of Meter Shops.”

PECO directors and officials were given until 15 days to submit its explanation from the receipt of the ERC order.

In November, the ERC announced it was probing the power cooperative in connection with a complaint filed by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas over its “inadequately maintained lines, power outages and hazardous electric posts.”

“Suffice it to say that, through it all, PECO has been trying its best to abide by the rules and regulations of the ERC despite multiple external factors beyond our control,” PECO said.

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Today’s Front Page January 18, 2020

Today’s Front Page January 18, 2020