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Meralco halts meter reading amid quarantine

Power retailer Manila Electric Co. said it is holding off physical meter reading and bill deliveries amid the 30-day enhanced community quarantine.

Meralco said that for customers with meters scheduled to be read from March 17 to April 14, billing would be based on the average consumption for the past three months, as prescribed by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The difference will be reflected on your next bill and corresponding charges will be adjusted,” the company said.

Meralco said it would also provide a 30-day payment extension for bills due from March 1 to April 14, 2020.

Meanwhile, the National Electrification Administration asked electric cooperatives to provide a 30-day payment extension for electricity bills in support of the government’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease 2019.

NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong issued Memorandum No. 2020-011, endorsing the Department of Energy’s advisory that urges distribution utilities, including the 121 ECs nationwide, to give their consumers a 30-day extension in settling their electricity bills due from March 15 to April 14, 2020. 

The move is in line with the government’s declaration of a state of calamity throughout the country for six months, and the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine over the entire island of Luzon due to the continuing spread of COVID-19.

The Energy Department issued an advisory to all private and public corporations in the power sector on deferring payments of obligations and dues for 30 days after April 14, 2020 for the benefit of consumers. 

“The Philippine energy family is in full solidarity with the entire nation in the battle against COVID-19. Energy services must be available 24/7 for everyone, most especially our frontline heroes who are risking their lives daily for the benefit of our fellow countrymen. The memo we issued is an additional measure to help keep the energy sector, as well as our stakeholders afloat during this time,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said. 

Topics: Manila Electric Co. , Meralco , meter reading , enhanced community quarantine , coronavirus disease 2019 , COVID-19
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