MORE Power brings antipilferage drive to barangays

By Meg J. Adonis@MegINQ

December 25, 2023 12:00:00

Iloilo power distributor MORE Electric and Power Corp. is banking on the cooperation of newly elected barangay officials for the success of its campaign against power pilferage in one of the Visayas’ most populous and power-hungry cities.

According to MORE Power, it convened the new local government officials to highlight their role in preventing electricity theft, which is rampant in Iloilo and has caused power inefficiency.MORE Power president and chief executive Roel Castro also noted that this initiative could help boost investments in the city.“If the barangays are doing well, the city is doing well, then we will have a better city for investment, lower [electricity] rates, low crime rate and a brighter city,” Castro said in a statement.Since its franchise was granted in 2019, the company said it had reduced system loss, or power that is injected into the grid but not drawn by consumers, in the city from more than 10 percent to around 5 percent.In October, the Enrique Razon Jr.-led utility firm announced plans to spend P2.1 billion to improve power reliability and reduce system loss in Iloilo, citing the city’s “inefficient” distribution system.

MORE Power had said the amount would be used mainly to put up “cutting edge” and “top-of-the-line” systems for consumers in Iloilo, which is within the franchise area of Central Negros Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ceneco).Sister company Primelectric Holdings Inc. had proposed a joint venture agreement with Ceneco to boost power reliability in the city.

Local officials had said that the partnership could “significantly improve” electricity supply, as some areas remained underserved, resulting in power pilferage, or electricity theft.

Earlier this month, MORE Power said it was also eyeing the completion of its underground distribution services in Iloilo by June 2024.

The project, which spans 1 kilometer and includes the city’s business district, is currently in the first phase of construction. INQ