Refund of bill and meter deposits from PECO a pressing plan of action, says OPCAI

Officers of One Panay Consumers Association, Inc. (OPCAI) had labeled as a pressing concern the initiative for consumers to file a class suit against former utility distributor Panay Electric Company (PECO) for them to be refunded of their bill and meter deposits.

This was stressed this afternoon by OPCAI in a press conference whose panelists include lawyers Trox Tormon and Anfred Panes along with accountant Irma Lim, OPCAI spokesperson, legal counsel, and treasurer, respectively.

The three called on all electric consumers of Iloilo City to join the consumer group for OPCAI to be able to represent them in their claim for the necessary refund.

Aside from the refund, OPCAI said it is planning to file a separate administrative case before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) against PECO.

“It is very timely especially when there is a pending case for expropriation involving PECO,” Atty. Tormon said

OPCAI said it is willing to collaborate with other groups or consumer organizations to file a class suit for it to be more forceful.

It said that aside from hiring a group of accountants, lawyers and mobilizers to make the initiative going, it is also setting up kiosks soon to major establishments in the city to generate membership for OPCAI and to further inform the consumers of the details of their plan of action.

Tormon said that OPCAI, currently, has a refundable claim of around P24 Million for the 24 members it represents.

Relatedly, the ERC, in its September 23, 2020 ruling had ordered PECO to refund some P527.7 million to Ilonggo consumers for its “over-recoveries” from its consumers covering the period of January 2012 to December 2014.

The order is comprised of P358,441,371.36 in Generation Rate, P162,939,228.50 in Systems Loss Rate, P6,152,699.94 in Lifeline Subsidy, P149,892.43 in Inter-Class Cross Subsidy, and P112,690.64 in Transmission Rate./INews

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