Bayan Muna claims Meralco ignored pleas to waive fee hike; firm says it just passed on adjustments | Inquirer News
Close  

Bayan Muna claims Meralco ignored pleas to waive fee hike; firm says it just passed on adjustments

/ 09:08 PM August 20, 2021
Bayan Muna claims Meralco ignored pleas for waive fee hike; firm says it just passed on adjustments

PHOTO/EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — Party-list group Bayan Muna scored the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for failing to respond to requests for a waiver of the power rate increases for August amid the current lockdown status in Metro Manila.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said on Friday Meralco has not answered their proposal to waive the fee increase while the National Capital Region is still under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) — and eventually, a modified ECQ (MECQ) — due to the rising COVID-19 cases.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bayan Muna previously called on Meralco to suspend the power hike as the lockdowns have negatively impacted many households’ source of income, as lesser industries are allowed to operate during an ECQ and MECQ.

“Meralco still has no response on our proposal for it to waive the power rate hike for August especially that we are still under a hard lockdown. This is the problem with EPIRA and deregulation. Our regulatory agencies, the DOE  & ERC, are apparently becoming or made useless or inutile to prevent these increases in the midst of grave crisis aggravated by the pandemic,” Zarate said in a message shared to reporters.

FEATURED STORIES

“Profit-seeking still trumps even pure humanitarian considerations especially now that more businesses are closing and more of our countrymen are jobless,” he added.

In August, Meralco is scheduled to increase electricity prices by 9.65 centavos per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which means that rates will go from P8.9071 to P9.0036 per kWh.

READ: Meralco urged to waive impending power rate hike 

READ: Meralco customers to pay higher electricity rates in 

But Meralco spokesperson and vice president Joe Zaldarriaga said that the increases are only reflections of power rates going up — or generation costs that are merely passed down by power producers to distributors like Meralco.

None of the fees, he said, goes to Meralco.

“We merely reflect monthly changes in power rates which either go up or down monthly and we have also explained that the recent increase are pass through costs in particular, generation, which accrues to the power producers and transmission whose adjustments on a monthly basis goes to NGCP,” Zaldarriaga said in a message to INQUIRER.net.

ADVERTISEMENT

“None of these charges goes to Meralco,” he added.

According to Zaldarriaga, Meralco’s overall rates are still way lower than that of previous years.

“Meralco’s own charges have had no adjustment since July 2015. Having said that, however, Meralco’s overall rates which included other charges such as government taxes are still lower compared to that of previous years,” he claimed.

Metro Manila and other areas such as Laguna, Bataan, Iloilo, and Cagayan de Oro were placed under an ECQ status early August due to the threat of the Delta variant.  Metro Manila’s ECQ status ends on Friday, but Malacañang said on Thursday night that the national government has already decided to put NCR under an MECQ status for the rest of August.

READ: Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan will be under MECQ until end of month–Palace 

Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) was able to record 17,231 new COVID-19 infections, the highest-ever single-day jump in infections since the pandemic reached the country.

The high increase in infections brought the country’s active case count to 123,251, as only 5,595 patients have recovered from the disease, for a total of 1,653,351 recoveries.

READ: Highest record: PH posts 17,231 new COVID-19 cases; active infections leap above 120,000 

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Bayan Muna, COVID-19, electric fee hike, Electricity, enhanced community quarantine, lockdown, Manila Electric Company, MERALCO, Philippine news updates, power rate, Rep. Carlos Zarate, vice president Joe Zaldarriaga
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.