Power consumers can breathe a sigh of relief, at least until September.
Meralco on Thursday said it agreed to the proposal of the House committee on energy to push back all its disconnection activities until September to ease the burden on its customers.
In the hearing on Thursday chaired by Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, Meralco vice president and head of customer retail services and corporations communications Victor Genuino assured the panel that Meralco will extend the moratorium in issuing disconnection notices to enable its customers settle their unpaid electricity bills incurred during the quarantine period.
At the prodding of Velasco, Genuino promised to extend the ban on disconnection and put notices on hold, which was previously set by Meralco until the end of August.
“Can we request Meralco to extend the period guaranteeing that there will be no disconnection to give people more time to recover and get back on their feet as their work resumes and businesses reopen?” Velasco asked, to which the Meralco official answered in affirmative.
At the continuation of the hearing, Velasco presented several grievances by angry consumers ranging from overcharging, double charging, surge in consumption versus the months prior to pandemic even when businesses were closed during the quarantine or houses were unoccupied, payments not credited properly, and delay in refunds, among others.
“These complaints bring additional stress to people. Meralco needs to fix its systems and improve its customer service,” Velasco said.
He reminded the power company of its commitment to its customers as a public utility franchisee.
“Their performance should be able to erase any confusion or any in doubt on Meralco whose franchise and services are imbued with public interest,” he added.
“And hopefully, at the end of the day, ‘yung duty ng franchise ninyo talaga is to give better service to the Filipino people,” Velasco said.