Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday warned the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and other distribution utilities against possible unexplained bill shocks as Metro Manila and four other provinces were placed under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine.
Gatchalian said the complaints of consumers during the Luzon wide-Enhanced Community Quarantine period from March to May when no meter reading could be done should not happen again.
“We’re at it again. Metro Manila and nearby areas are now back to MECQ. Meter readings may not be possible due to the lockdown period. Add to this is the possibility that a number of affected consumers may appeal anew for deferred or extension of payment in their monthly bills,” he said.
“Consumers cannot afford another round of bill shock in their electricity bills. Nabulagta na nga ang mga tao sa overestimation at underestimation ng Meralco sa nagdaang monthly bills, baka magkaproblema na naman sa computation ng darating nilang billing statement ngayong MECQ. Yung iba, dapat may refund pa,” the Senate Energy Committee chairman added.
Gatchalian also called on the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), as the government’s supervisory body in the power sector, to give relief to consumers and ensure that their interests are protected.
For the duration of the ECQ, the commission has issued several advisories deferring payment of electricity bills falling due within the lockdown period, without interests, penalties, fees and other charges.