By Ben Rosario
A senior administration congressman has enjoined the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to closely monitor the billing collection of power distributors to prevent over-recovery.
In a recent virtual meeting of the House committee on good government, 1PACMAN Partylist Rep. Eric Pineda noted that there have been numerous complaints against the spike in electricity bills especially in Meralco-serviced areas.
Pineda, chairman of the House committee on labor and employment, said Meralco has claimed that one reason for this is the increase in the power consumption of many households due to the mandatory quarantine protocol under the COVID-19 situation,
He noted that as consumption increases, so does the profit of Meralco and other distribution utilities (DUs).
In the same hearing, Pineda also said Meralco and other DU’s were expected to peg their services at a lower price during the quarantine period, pointing out that it is during this time that fuel prices went down.
Lawyer William Pamintuan, Meralco senior vice president and head of legal and corporate governance, said that profits have actually plunged because of the decline in demand while its service areas were under quarantine.
“In totality, our revenues actually went down,” he said, assuring Pineda that over-recovery was not possible.
Pamintuan also said the downward trend of fuel cost had already resulted in a lower cost of electricity.