Meralco CEO: ‘No power disconnection’ period extended until Sept. 30
MANILA, Philippines — The president and chief executive officer of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Thursday said that the electricity provider will be extending its period of no power disconnection until Sept. 30 of this year.
During the House energy committee hearing tackling the sudden surge of electric bills of its customers, Meralco first vice president and head for customer retail services and corporate communications Victor Genuino said it has committed to its customers that the electric provider will not disconnect any service in case customers have not settled their unpaid bills during the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, who is the House energy committee chair, then asked if the period could be extended.
“We take note of your suggestion and your request,” Meralco president and CEO Ray Espinosa then told Velasco.
“We will extend the no disconnection [period] until Sept. 30 of this year,” he added.
Meralco customers have complained of “bill shock” as the power retailer imposed an average scheme for electric bills based on three months of power usage, since actual power reading was suspended due to the quarantine period imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Energy Regulatory Commission then said that it issued a show-cause order to the country’s largest power retailer to explain why it should not be held liable for allegedly violating the guidelines the regulator imposed during the coronavirus lockdown.
Espinosa also apologized to Meralco consumers for the sudden surge in their monthly bills.
“We apologize for the great inconvenience that these billing issues have caused to our customers,” Espinosa said during the hearing.
“Rest assured, we are doing our best to sort out all of these issues,” he added.
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