Meralco extends ‘no disconnection’ for customers until end-April

Published April 13, 2021, 1:02 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

With just a relatively minor easing on the quarantine protocols within the so-called NCR plus bubble, power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) was prompted to extend its self-imposed policy on “no disconnection of services” until the end of this month.



Essentially, that will be for the entire duration of the newly re-enforced modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for Metro Manila and the neighboring provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Laguna and Bulacan that are all within the enclaves of Meralco’s service area.



On its announcement to the media, Meralco stated that it will be “continuing the suspension of all disconnection activities in its franchise area until April 30, 2021.”



Ferdinand O. Geluz, first vice president and chief commercial officer of Meralco, noted that “given the ongoing pandemic situation and the latest quarantine measures, and always conscious of the challenges our customers are facing amid these trying times, we will continue to put on hold all disconnection activities.”

Power service subscribers or customers are often served with ‘disconnection notices’ if they fail to settle previous bills; or if they have arrears with their servicing power utility.

For Meralco, since the re-imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) latter part of March this year, it already apprised its customers that it will temporarily cease service cut-offs — so power supply disruption will no longer worsen the anxieties of the Filipino consumers while they navigate again the often-tricky movement restrictions arising from the Covid-19 crisis quarantine protocols.

The ‘no-disconnection policy’ of the utility firm was first implemented until April 15; but it opted to stretch the timeframe as the State cautiously decreed MECQ measure; which entails that there would still be a lot of restraints on the movement of the population and many would still struggle managing their financial survival.

Geluz sounded off “we hope this extension will help lessen the burden of our customers and provide enough relief and time for them to settle their bills.”

He qualified that “Meralco will continue to be very considerate during this period and vowed to assist its customers in need of help with their concerns.”

On the operations’ side of the business, the company executive indicated that meter readers will proceed with their usual tasks, so customers would be assured to be billed only on their actual consumption.

“Meralco business operations, including meter reading and bill delivery activities will continue throughout the MECQ,” he specified.

Geluz added “our continued operations will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly,” with him emphasizing that on the warranted field work they will carry out, “there will be strict implementation of health protocols in order to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and our personnel.”

Meralco similarly advised that its business centers “will remain open to accept payments, applications and customer assistance,” and its business hours will be from 7:00am to 3:00pm underpinned by a skeleton workforce in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) of the national government.

 
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