NO FANFARE: Iloilo City’s 82nd Charter Day rites passes unheralded in transition

Iloilo City Charter Day rites

Mayor Jerry Trenas and a new set of elected officials have served less than two months into their current term when Iloilo City observed its 82nd Charter anniversary that culminated on August 25, 2019.

The lack of preparation is palpable even in the redundant theme “Responsive and Responsible Governance.”

“We can’t be celebrating while many are sick of dengue,” the mayor put it aptly in July. Activities ran for over one month during the past charter day celebrations.

The charter day activities this August were largely private sector initiatives. Crony business groups found time paying peremptory tribute to a leading patron Sen. Franklin Drilon during the ‘Iloilo Business Week.’

As usual the Iloilo hotels and restaurants joined Street hawks at Delgado Street for the convenient “food festival.”

Political transition and dengue aside, the city is in the midst of other uncertainties as well.

Power provider Panay Electric Company (PECO) is in a legal bind with potential competitor More Power.

While it has the electrical facilities in place PECO is on short leash only through an extended Certificate of Public Convenience with two years grace period to secure a new franchise or let its rival have the area.

More Power on the other hand holds a franchise as an alternate power provider and has two years grace period to install the needed infrastructure.

PECO and MORE are entangled in a courtroom brawl. MORE got a favorable ruling from a Regional Trial Court (RTC) on its petition for expropriation of PECO’s facilities as mandated by its franchise. But PECO were likewise favored by another RTC which declared MORE’s franchise “unConstitutional.”

The cases in Court and the ensuing uncertainty could weigh heavily against the mayor’s advocacy to “level up Iloilo City.” /jft

PHOTO: Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Trenas (left) with Sen. Franklin Drilon and former Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor

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