Power Struggle Threatens Iloilo BPO Scene!

pushAUX.com

[pushAUX.com] Prospective BPO investors are thinking twice before setting up operations in Iloilo City. The culprit? A growing power supply issue rooted in unresolved arrangements covering electricity distribution.

The Federation Fears!

The Iloilo Federation for Information Technology (IFIT) is first to raise the alarm.

Jessraf S. Palmares, IFIT

 

“There are other players who want to come to the city, but they are hesitant to come in because of the (power) issue… The longer this issue stays we cannot assure that new investors will come in. Existing investors are telling us that they will be looking into other sites. The situation is preventing investors from coming in…”

Franchise Wars!

Iloilo City’s current power distributor, Panay Electric Co. Inc. (PECO), recently lost its franchise and has legally contested the new franchise holder’s attempt to take over its assets.

Jessraf S. Palmares, IFIT

 

“So far for the last few years there has been a surge in development, and we have grown the industry rapidly, which requires a lot of power, and they were able to meet our requirements… As an industry, we don’t have any issue and problems with (PECO), so our question is why fix it when it’s not broken?”

A New Player Arrives!

Earlier this year, MORE Power and Electric Co. (MORE Power) presented its plans to Iloilo businessmen in a closed-door forum organized by the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc.

(pushAUX: Based on reports, MORE Power was granted a power franchise by President Duterte last… Valentines Day… Which sort of triggered this whole mess.)

As per Roel Z. Castro, current MORE Power President, changes would be implemented once they take over, such as upgraded customer service, a simplified application process, and more accessible payment centers. The new franchise owner also committed to offer cheaper rates.

Roel Z. Castro, MORE Power

 

“Our negotiations are in the final stages with AP Renewables Inc, KEPCO SPC Power Corp., and Palm Concepcion Power Corp.. They are offering 1/3 less of the existing power generation, which is P7.84 kWh as of January 2019. That is P6.63/kWh vs P7.84/kWh.”

IFIT: Reliability over Affordability!

Jessraf S. Palmares, IFIT

 

“Yes, they have lowered cost but that is not how the IT industry thinks. The lowered price does not really affect us… It’s more of reliability… The problem is, existing companies, with all these problems with (distribution), will decide to pull out because of uncertainty.”

It is very important to note that the incoming franchise holder, MORE Power, does not have physical assets in place. Yes, they don’t have any power poles, or the wires needed in order to deliver electricity.

And so MORE Power has offered to buy PECO assets. PECO as expected, refused, declaring that it will fight even if the case reaches the Supreme Court.

Iloilo province’s Local Economic and Investment Promotion Officer (LEIPO), Velma Jane C. Lao, said that PECO is the one who is taking a hard stance on the issue.

Meanwhile, this uncertainty forces investors to put up call centers elsewhere. Iloilo loses. :0(