Meralco urged to to extend no-disconnection policy
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has urged the Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) to show more compassion and study the possibility of extending their no-disconnection policy for underprivileged consumers, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
“Muli po akong nananawagan sa Meralco na kung maaari ay ‘wag muna nilang putulan ng kuryente ang mga kababayan nating hindi pa makapagbabayad, lalo ‘yung wala talagang mapagkunan ng pambayad (I’m appealing again to Meralco to at least extend their policy and not disconnect the power of those who still have no means to pay their unsettled bills),” Go said in a news release on Sunday.
Go appealed to electric companies to help ordinary people who are still struggling to make ends meet due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Konting puso naman sa panahon kung kailan naghihirap ang ating mga kababayan. Magmalasakit tayo sa ating kapwa Pilipino (Let’s show some compassion during this time when most of our fellowmen are having a hard time),” he added.
Given the ongoing public health issue, Go also urged the government to look into the matter and prioritize the welfare of ordinary Filipinos by finding ways to avoid putting any additional burden to them.
“Ilang buwan nating pinagbawalan ang karamihan na makapagtrabaho at maghanapbuhay. Ilang buwan din natin silang pinilit na manatili lang sila sa kanilang mga bahay. Hindi na nga makabili ng pagkain, paano pa ba yan makakabayad ng kuryente (Many of them have been prevented to go out and not to work for several months. They can’t even afford to buy food, how they can pay their electric bills),” he said.
Meralco’s no-disconnection policy was supposed to end on De. 31, 2020, but was further extended until the end of January.
Joe R. Zaldarriaga, Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, said households consuming 201 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or more were asked to settle their unpaid bills last month, while those consuming 200 kWh and below were allowed to pay until the end of January.
Meralco also said only non-lifeliners who have not paid any amount since March last year will be disconnected. The company will also allow payment on installment basis upon request.
Following the Energy Regulatory Commission’s issuances, Meralco said the refunds for the inadvertent overcharges during the periods of heightened community quarantine measures are already being implemented and deducted in the billings.
Meanwhile, Go continues to ask the private sector to help alleviate the woes of ordinary citizens as part of their contribution to the bayanihan efforts in overcoming the crisis.
“Magtulungan po tayo. Habang ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat upang makatulong, hinihikayat ko rin ang pribadong sektor na patuloy na makipagtulungan. Sama-sama nating iahon ang ating mga kababayan mula sa hirap na dulot ng pandemyang ito (Let’s help one another. While the government is doing its best to help, I’m urging the continued cooperation of the private sector. Together, let us help our countrymen recover from the effects of pandemic),” he said.
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