PECO History

As of today PECO has been working on numerous internal and external improvements to match the boom happening in Iloilo City. The Power Distribution Set-Up explains the latest developments with PECO’s operations as it grows in a healthy manner. Major investors such as Mega World, Ayala and Gaisano groups are now investing heavily in the Iloilo and the power demand has dramatically increased since 2014 by 5 to 10 megawatts yearly. PECO has been very active in catering to the City’s power needs and has a bright future mapped out with all the positive events happening lately in Iloilo City.

In 2006, Jose Maria A. Cacho retired as President of PECO while maintaining his position as Chairman of the Board. Luis Miguel A. Cacho (Jose Maria’s son) then took over as President and CEO of PECO up to present day. In 2007, Mariano Cacho Jr (Jose Maria’s brother) took over as Chairman of the Board up to present due to Jose Maria’s passing that same year. In 2010, Iloilo City was hit by a power supply crisis since supply could no longer meet the demand of the City and all power suppliers around the country had their power contracted already. Luckily, during that same year, the new Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) coal fired power plant was ready for operations inside Iloilo City. PECO then amended its old 72 megawatt contract to 15 megawatts with PPC and contracted a new 65 megawatt deal with PEDC to secure Iloilo City’s power demands.

In 1994, PECO’s franchise expired and it was issued a new 25 year franchise to operate as the sole electric distributor in Iloilo City once again. During 1996, 30% of the capital stock of PECO was acquired by First Philippine Holdings under the Lopez Family in exchange for a stake in Panay Power Corporation (PPC) which was the new 72 Megawatt Diesel Plant located in Iloilo at that time. In 2004, the new EPIRA law mandated that Electric Distribution Utilities can no longer produce power but rather only buy from power suppliers. This prompted PECO to sell its stake in PPC as well as permanently shut down all its diesel generating units as it focused primarily on sourcing of power and distributing it efficiently and reliably to Iloilo City.

In 1945, after World War II, 80% of the distribution lines were damaged while the power generators could only generate 60% of their rated capacities. The power problem was mitigated when the Cacho Family decided to convert their long term receivable dividends into capital stock which translated to better funding in order to rehabilitate the power generators and distribution system. The 1962 devaluation of the PESO also proved to be another challenge as oil and equipment prices soar higher than ever. In 1967, Jose Maria E. Cacho took over his father as General Manger of Panay Electric as requested by the Cacho Family coming from his previous employment as Area Manager of Shell Petroleum in the Visayas Region. In 1974, under martial law, the towns of Sta. Barbara, Pavia and Oton were taken over and serviced under the electric cooperative ILECO 1 while PECO mainly serviced the City of Iloilo as part of the numerous dictatorial presidential decrees during those times.

In 1927, investors which owned more than 99% of the capital stock sold their shares to Candelaria Ditching Cacho. This converted PECO into the first 100% Filipino owned private enterprise in Iloilo City. At this point, the company was managed by Don Mariano M. Cacho (Son of Candelaria) as General Manager of PECO. The areas of Sta. Barbara, Pavia and Oton were also serviced by PECO during 1929.

Panay Electric Company (PECO) has been serving the valued consumers of Iloilo City since 1923. It was then incorporated by the following, Don Esteban De la Rama, Jose Ma. Arroyo, a former senator and after whom the Arroyo Fountain in front of the capitol was named; lawyer Mariano Jalbuena, Emiliano Lizares, Jose Lopez-Vito, Modesto Ledesma, Marcos Alfaras, Jose Tiongco, Yap Seng, Eulogio Hernandez, Jose L. Jalbuena, Jose G. Paramos, and G.M. Saul.