* legislative franchise “PECO does not have a legislative franchise and CPCN to continue legally operating,” Treñas pointed out. His Executive Order No. 71 on such was served yesterday by the Business Permits and Licensing Office (BPLO) to PECO’s business office on General Luna Street. The BPLO personnel who served to PECO the executive order was assisted by the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office and Iloilo City Police Office. Congress instead granted the franchise to new power distribution utility MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power). President Rodrigo Duterte signed the franchise law (Republic Act 11212) on Feb. 14, 2019. Such denial of PECO’s motions, according to Judge Emerald K. Requina-Contreras, aimed to “avoid any further confusion” among consumers as to which entity is now the rightful power distribution utility in Iloilo City. The order, dated May 8, was “effective immediately.” ILOILO City – Mayor Jerry Treñas has revoked the business permit of Panay Electric Co. (PECO). “I understand that there are still legal remedies being undertaken by PECO, but until then, the court leaves it to the ERC the matters which is no longer within the ambit of the court’s jurisdiction. The court recognizes the Energy Regulatory Commission as the lone quasi-judicial entity which has the sole jurisdiction over the operation of electric distribution utilities,” stressed Contreras. In making the ruling, Contreras cited the ERC decision (March 5, 2020) to revoke PECO’s CPCN and instead grant a provisional authority to MORE Power to operate a power distribution network. Its five sub-transmission line substations in as many districts (in Barangay Baldoza, La Paz; Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro; Barangay Bolilao, Mandurriao; Barangay Avanceña, Molo;, and General Luna Street, City Proper) were taken over by MORE Power on Feb. 28 this year. In another blow to PECO, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 23 hearing the expropriation case that MORE Power filed against PECO denied PECO’s motions questioning MORE Power’s takeover of the latter’s power distribution assets. In this city, a private power distribution utility is required to have the following: PECO’s CPCN was also revoked by ERC. The Commission instead granted it to MORE Power. * Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) pursuant to Republic Act No. 9136 (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001) PECO was established in 1923 and served the consumers of Iloilo City for 96 years. In recent years, PECO was besieged with complaints from consumers such as erroneous billing, poor customer relations, high rates, and frequent brownouts./PN PECO’s franchise expired on Jan. 19, 2019 and it failed to secure an extension or a new one from Congress.