‘World-class power system to lure investments in Iloilo’

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The P1.8-billion power system upgrade laid out by the Razon-led More Electric and Power Corp. in Iloilo City would lead to the entry of more investments in the city, a leading business group said.

In a statement, the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation (ILEDF) said the improvement in the power distribution network would bring it to world-class standards, enticing more investors to set up shop in the city.

ILEDF noted that a major factor that turned investors in the past had been the failure of the city’s former distributor to develop a world-class system that could reduce electricity rates and lower the operating costs of businesses.

ILEDF executive director Francis Gentoral said Iloilo City needs a power distribution system that would assure investors of a stable, continuous and cost-effective electricity supply.

He said the entry of MORE Power provided Iloilo City the spark to fast-track its growth as one of the country’s leading metropolis.

Gentoral urged the city’s residents to support MORE Power’s plan to invest P1.8 billion in new systems and equipment that could remove the inefficiencies such as system losses arising from pilferage and technical waste of electricity due to the ageing equipment and distribution lines.

In a technical study of the entire distribution network when MORE Power took over in March this year, engineering expert firm Miescor Corp. found the possible existence of at least 30,000 illegal power connections that result in Iloilo City suffering system losses as high as 9.3 percent, way above the 6.25 percent cap set by the government.

The system losses are absorbed by the city’s residents and businesses and paid through their monthly bills, one of the highest in the country for years aside from regular complaints of inefficient billing imposed on customers.

Gentoral said upon takeover, MORE Power worked on the immediate lowering of power rates to below P9 per kilowatt hour, the first time the city’s power rates fell below P10 per kwh in two decades.

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