Gatchalian urges ERC to consider staggered payments for power consumers

Published April 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday urged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to help consumers mitigate the impact of piled up electricity bills and consider staggered payment to ease their burden amid the lockdown.

Senator Sherwin 'Win' Gatchalian (JOHN JEROME GANZON/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Senator Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian (JOHN JEROME GANZON/ MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Gatchalian said the government should come up with a solution to relieve the burden of Filipino households whose electricity bills are expected to pile up after a month of reprieve since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been extended.

The chair of the Senate Energy Committee said he is concerned that ordinary Filipinos, especially those belonging to the marginalized sector, will not have the financial capacity to pay their two month-worth of electricity bills in full and risk having their electricity disconnected.

He said the ERC must look for solutions that will ease payment terms of consumers, including offering a staggered payment for two months of electricity bills for not less than three months.

“Dahil nga marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi nakakapagtrabaho ngayon, lalo na yung mga ‘no work, no pay’, ang panawagan natin sa ERC ay gumawa ng hakbang para hindi sila maputulan ng kuryente, (Because most of our people were not able to work, especially those who are on a ‘no work, no pay’ basis, we call on the ERC to implement measures to prevent consumers from being served a notice of disconnection),” Gatchalian said.

Gatchalian also appealed to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to temporarily waive its convenience fee so that consumers may be able to pay their electricity bill using the company’s mobile app without extra charges.

Meralco earlier announced that consumers who pay through the said app will have to pay an additional P47 convenience fee.

“For humanitarian reasons, let’s think of ways that will make the lives of our kababayans (citizens) better and alleviate their suffering as we face this pandemic,” he said.

 
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