ERC mulls advisory to Cebu City power distributors to allow bills payment suspension
MANILA, Philippines — The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it would consider issuing an advisory to power distributors to help ease the burden of residents of Cebu City by allowing the suspension of payments of their electricity bills.
During the Senate energy committee hearing on Monday, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian asked ERC chair Agnes Devanadera if the commission has issued any advisory following the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu City, the government’s most stringent quarantine classification.
“The ECQ in Cebu, since our treatment for ECQ is a suspension of payments, I would suggest to the commission to look into this dahil meron tayong precedent and the Cebu matter seems to be quite uncertain for now. We are praying that it will be over soon,” said Gatchalian, chair of the energy committee.
“Just to give our Cebuano friends and families some reprieve. I would like to suggest to extend the same assistance to our Cebuano friends and family,” he added.
According to Devanadera, the ERC has yet to issue “any advisory regarding the new declaration on Cebu,” but that it would consider the suggestion.
“We will consider… We shall look into that, considering that that is the only remaining area now that has come back to ECQ. Again, we really have to consider those things,” she told senators.
Earlier, the ERC allowed the staggered payment of electric bills that had fallen due during the ECQ. The bills from Manila Electric Company (Meralco) could be paid in four to six monthly installments.
Based on the Department of Health’s online COVID-19 tracker, Cebu City has logged a total of 5,126 cases, including 943 recoveries and 86 deaths.
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