Panay Electric not selling assets to Razon group

By Myrna M.Velasco – November 18, 2019, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

The Cacho-owned Panay Electric Company (PECO) has firmly stated that it is not going to sell its power utility assets to the Razon group’s MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MEPC) even if the latter brings in the “right check.”

In a briefing with reporters, PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo U. Cacho qualified that their facilities are “not for sale” even if the acquiring firm would target to corner them at a premium – and the company would even be more reluctant to just give it up to parties that will be embezzling them.

“We are not interested in selling our assets to MORE,” he stressed, adding that such applies to all other entities that may be setting their sights on the utility firm. “We want to rather reform the industry,” Cacho averred.

He specified that the priority of PECO is to modernize its facilities by deploying more advanced technologies in continually servicing the electricity needs of Iloilo consumers.

“We have all the programs that we’ve put in place. One of the things that we see here is that the utility industry of the Philippines needs to change a lot. It needs to be more customer-centric,” Cacho emphasized.

He further asserted “we need to be more open to new technologies, to new formats especially with how everything is going along with our net metering, with energy savings.”

The young Cacho also said they are contemplating on filing a new bill for the renewal of their public utility franchise – that was following a disapproval of such in the last Congress. But he said the power distribution firm will only take this step when all the pending legal cases in the courts will clear up – including the expropriation case that is currently pending with the Supreme Court.

“We don’t feel it’s the time to get out, but we’ve felt it’s the time to start changing the industry,” Cacho reiterated, leveraging on the P1.1 billion worth of pipelined investments that the company had earlier unveiled that is anchored on expanding and modernizing its service networks.