Meralco extends ‘no disconnection’ policy to May 14

Published April 30, 2021, 6:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is stretching anew its ‘no disconnection policy’ on its electricity services to consumers with unpaid bills – and that will be until May 14 or throughout the duration of the extended modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) within the NCR plus bubble.

Ferdinand O. Geluz, first vice president and chief commercial officer of Meralco, stated that “given the current situation and the extended MECQ, we continue to take into consideration the challenges our customers are facing amid these difficult times.”

This is already the fourth time that Meralco is implementing its ‘no disconnection policy’ this year – first was based on edict set forth by the Department of Energy; then next was when enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was decreed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in March; then another extension until April 30; and this current round will be until the lapse of the new MECQ until mid-month of May.

Meralco said it is carrying on with this mandate of suspending disconnection activities, because it is giving due consideration to the plight of many of its customers – especially those who have difficulty navigating the financial distress wrought by the fresh round of acceleration of Covid-19 infections in the country.

“Meralco will continue to be very considerate during this period and vowed to assist its customers in need of help with their concerns,” the utility firms noted.

But while disconnection of services had been temporarily halted, the power firm indicated that its meter reading activities will continue, so it would only be the actual consumption of end-users that shall be billed to them.

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

He qualified “our continued operations will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly,” while the company executive assured that “there will be strict implementation of health protocols in order to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and our personnel.”

And as anchored on the mandate of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the power firm is encouraging its customers with sufficient resources to pay as their bills fall due, so their servicing utilities won’t also be swamped with receivables that may then exert pressure on their financial standing.

If bills are settled within their prescribed due dates, Meralco noted that this will help players “manage the cash flow in the energy supply chain and ensure the continuous supply of electricity.”