With the easing of quarantine restrictions, power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has formally apprised customers that it will already resume service disconnections to those that have unpaid bills.
Nevertheless, the company qualified that it would still “extend compassionate consideration” to its customers who will be appealing or making arrangements with the utility firm for longer installments or lighter payment schedules.
“Meralco assured customers that it will be very considerate and compassionate in the conduct of activities related to the management of the unpaid overdue bills,” the power firm stated.
Ferdinand O. Geluz, first vice president and chief commercial officer of Meralco, said “given the heightened restrictions still being implemented during the GCQ (general community quarantine), we continue to take into consideration the challenges our customers are facing amid these difficulties.”
Since the pummeling of the Covid-19 pandemic, Filipino consumers are very forthright in asserting that “due dates” of utility bills had been among the ‘most feared predicaments’ confronting them on a monthly basis – especially those whose sources of incomes had been decimated by the health crisis.
In Meralco’s case, it has suspended disconnection of electricity services – even those with arrears – since March; and has continually extended it until May 14 because of the stricter lockdown measures enforced within the so-called NCR plus bubble.
And with the re-imposition of GCQ starting May 15, Meralco reiterated that its customers can still make their plea for extended settlements on their arrears.
“We hope our continued consideration will ease the burden of our customers, providing additional time for them to settle their bills,” Geluz stressed.
The utility firm further indicated that “for those who are challenged to pay their overdue bills in full, customers are advised to get in touch with Meralco so a lighter schedule may be arranged, or else standard disconnection procedures will apply.”
The company advised its customers that they can get in touch with the utility firm via its social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter; or they can call its hotline at 16211; or they can go to the Meralco Business Center to make arrangements for their bill payments.
The power firm emphasized that its business centers will continually serve customers from Monday to Friday (7:00am to 5:00pm) and Saturday (7:00am to 12:00noon) for payment transactions; and will also keep on its meter reading activities.
“Our continued operations will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly,” Geluz noted, while giving guarantee that “there will be strict implementation of health protocols in order to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and our personnel.”