Meralco extends no-disconnection period until October 31
Marje Pelayo • August 25, 2020 • 680
MANILA, Philippines — Power distributor Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has announced that it is extending its no-disconnection period until October 31, 2020.
Meralco president and CEO Ray Espinosa on Monday (August 24) said this is to allow customers to save up and settle their unpaid bills.
The extension is an additional one month of grace period from the original deadline of September 30.
“Ito po ay bilang tugon sa inyong request na i-extend ko po ang suspension ng disconnection hanggang end ng October para mas mabigyan ng panahon ang ating mga customers na makalikom ng sapat na pambayad sa kanilang mga bills,” Espinosa said during the hearing of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.
(This is in response to your request to extend the suspension of disconnection until October to give our customers ample time to prepare funds to pay their bills.)
Espinosa added that the company will also provide a power rate discount amounting to P101 million as relief assistance to around 2.77 million lifeline customers who consume 100 kilowatt-hours (kwh) or less monthly.
This, according to Espinosa, was in response to the suggestion of the House leadership.
“Bilang tugon sa mungkahi ni Speaker Alan Cayetano, kami naman ay magbibigay ng relief or ayuda sa kanila na equivalent to a total of P101 million mula sa aming distribution charge. Ang pagbabasehan namin dito ay ang mga lifeline customers as of February 2020,” he said.
(In response to the recommendation of Speaker Alan Cayetano, we are giving relief to our customers equivalent to a total of P101 million from our distribution charge. Our basis will be our lifeline customers as of February 2020.)
“Ginagamit natin ang February 2020 kasi yun ang huling actual meter reading bago nagkaroon ng ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) at MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), at dito malalaman natin sino ang mga lifeline customers na yun na inabutan ng ECQ at MECQ,” he added.
(We are using the February 2020 as basis because that was the last actual meter reading before the imposition of ECQ and MECQ. From this, we will be able to determine the lifeline customers affected by the ECQ and MECQ.)
Customers have been overwhelmed with huge electricity bills in May and bombarded the company with complaints.
This prompted the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to flag Meralco and explain how it computed its customers’ bills during the period of the enhanced community quarantine.
MANILA, Philippines – Tatapyasan ng Meralco ang singil sa kuryente ngayong buwan ng Marso bilang bahagi ng pagpapatupad ng refund na iniutos ng pamahalaan.
Ayon sa Meralco, aabot sa P0.36 kada kilowatt hour (kWh) ang mababawas sa singil sa March bill.
Katumbas ito ng P72 na bawas-singil para sa mga kumukonsumo ng 200 kWh kada buwan, P108 para sa mga gumagamit ng 300 kWh, P144 sa 400 kWh, at P180 para sa may konsumong 500 kWh.
Ang hakbang ay kasunod ng pag-apruba ng Energy Regulatory Commission sa panukala ng kumpanya na ibalik sa mga customer nito ang nasa P13.9 bilyong halaga sa loob ng 24 na buwan.
Sa pagtaya ng Meralco, nasa P0.27 kada kWh ang ire-refund sa buwanang bill ng residential customers.
“It represents the difference between yung actual na Weighted Average Tariff at saka yung ERC-approved Interim Average Rate namin. So, mayroon kaming nakitang difference in terms of the amount which is at, sa aming estimates, is at 13.9 billion,” ang pahayag ni Joe Zaldarriaga, tagapagsalita ng Meralco.
Ito ang ikalawang sunod na buwan na tinapyasan ng Meralco ang singil nito sa kuryente. Ito rin ang pinakamababang singil simula noong Agosto 2017.
Samantala, tiniyak naman ang Meralco na nananatili ang “no disconnection” policy nito para sa mga lifeline consumer na may bill na dapat bayaran sa March 2021.
Ang mga tinatawag na lifeline consumer ay yaong mga kumukonsumo ng kuryenteng mas mababa pa sa 100 kWh kada buwan.
Ang polisiya ay iniutos ng Department of Energy bilang tulong sa mga consumer na lubhang naapektuhan ng COVID-19 pandemic. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)
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