Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is extending the suspension of its power service disconnections in Metro Manila and four other provinces in Luzon following the enforcement of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) protocols in these areas.
The extension of non-disconnection will be from August 21 to 31 – and that is the period while MECQ restrictions are being applied in the capital, as well as in Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal and Lucena City in Quezon province.
The utility firm first imposed service cut-off deferment on August 6-20; when the National Capital Region and the neighboring provinces were placed on hard lockdown under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status of movement restrictions mandated by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
To be temporarily spared from electricity service stoppage would entail less worry for the consumers, because they can be assured of continued power supply while they wade through the hurdles of strict Covid lockdowns.
Meanwhile, for Meralco customers in areas that are under general community quarantine (GCQ) status, the company noted it will “continue to be very considerate during this period,” as it also vowed that it will be on hand to assist customers on their concerns.
“Meralco will continue vital operations, such as meter reading, bill delivery and service crews will continue to work around the clock to serve its customers,” the power firm stressed.
The power company pointed out it understands the plight of consumers that they may not be able to pay their bills during the ECQ and MECQ quarantine periods, hence, it is providing elbow room to them on that sphere.
And for customers that had been badly affected by the pandemic – including those who had been displaced from their employments, Meralco constantly stated that it is willing to grant ‘payment leeway’; as long as these subscribers will make arrangements with the company in good faith as to how and when they would be able to settle their arrears.
Meralco likewise reiterated it will continue with its meter reading activities, so it’s more than 7.0 million customers will pay bills that are just in accordance with their actual consumption.
And with the onset of the typhoon season, the power firm has been apprising its customers to always keep in mind the safety tips, so they will not encounter untoward incidents in their use of electricity as a basic commodity in their homes or establishments.
Meralco said these safety measures include the need to ensure that “circuit breakers are off amid flooding; keeping yourselves dry at all times before touching any electric facility; unplugging appliances; removing mud and dirt from service equipment with rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes; ensuring all electrical wires and devices are dry; and having wiring systems checked by a licensed electrician.”