Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is seeking a legislative inquiry to determine the impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on the power sector and consumers.
Gatchalian filed on Wednesday (April 22) Senate Resolution 361, which called for an investigation on how consumers will cope with paying electricity bills once the ECQ ends.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) had directed all distribution utilities (DUs), such as the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), and retail electricity suppliers (RES) to provide a grace period in electricity bills payment due within the ECQ period from March 16 to April 30 without interest, penalties, fees and other charges.
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Energy Committee, also wants to find out if Congress should pass a financial stimulus package for the power sector to ensure continuous and reliable supply of energy.
He said he wants to ask power generating companies if they can continue their operations even after the payment of electricity and DU bills have been deferred.
“Nakita natin sa pag-implement ng enhanced community quarantine ang pagbaba ng transport, industrial, at commercial activities sa bansa, na nagresulta sa pagbaba din ng pagkonsumo ng kuryent. Ang patuloy na pagbagsak ng konsumo ng kuryente ay maaring makaapekto sa energy security ng ating bansa,” said Gatchalian.