Meralco to lower power rates in September

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 9, 2020   •   390

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has announced that power rates for the month of September will go down due to the low demand for power supply during the quarantine period.

In a statement, Meralco said a household consuming 200 kilowatt-hour (kWh) is set to save around P12 this month. Households consuming 300 kWh, meanwhile, will save P19. For households consuming 400 kWh and 500 kWh will save P25 and P31, respectively.

Meralco Utility Economics Head Lawrence Fernandez said the limited operations of several establishments brought by quarantine protocols also contributed to the low power rates.

Noong nagkaroon ng reimposition ng MECQ (Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine) for two weeks in August, nakakita rin tayo ng pag-reduce ng demand (During the reimposition of the MECQ for two weeks in August we saw a reduction on the demand) for the month of August and this was reflected in the rates this month, he said.

This is the fifth consecutive month that Meralco implemented power rate cuts in their overall charges.

Meanwhile, the electric company still has to confirm if they will also extend its ‘no disconnection policy’ which is set to end on October 31, 2020.

Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the company has also yet to decide on the P20 million fine from the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC) due to the bill shock.

“Our lawyers are studying the order of the regulator. Hopefully, soon, we will be able to give you a more concrete answer in so far as the penalty is concerned,” he said. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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Bawas-singil ng Meralco, ipatutupad ngayong Pebrero

Freema Gloria   •   February 8, 2021

Nag-anunsyo ang Manila Electric Company (Meralco) ng bahagyang pagbaba ng singil sa kuryente ngayong Pebrero nang P0.07 centavos per kilowatt hour.

Nangangahulugan ito na mababawasan ng mga P14 ang babayaran ng mga customer ng Meralco na may average consumption na 200 kwh sa loob ng isang buwan.

Nasa P21 naman ang maaaring mabawas sa mga kumokonsumo ng 300 kwh, P28 kung ang konsumo naman ay umaabot sa 400 kwh, at P35 sa mga may konsumo na 500 kwh kada buwan.

Ayon sa Meralco, ang naturang bawas-singil sa kuryente ay bunsod ng pagbaba ng fixed charges na ipinapataw ng mga plantang pinagkukunan ng kuryente ng power distributor. (ulat mula kay Joan Nano)

Meralco reminds deadline for outstanding bills until Jan. 31

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has reminded its customers that the deadline for paying outstanding bills is on January 31.

Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the electric company already provided sufficient time since its disconnection policy was temporarily suspended to help customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Zaldarriaga said customers can still appeal for an extension through Meralco’s business centers.

He added that they are mulling over the recommended extension of the installment scheme in paying power bills.

We’ve already given iyong ample time. One year na ang—almost one year na magmula noong we stopped disconnecting since March and although, pinag-aaralan pa rin naman natin and on a case-to-case basis ay humahanap tayo ng paraan para tulungan iyong iba pang customers (We’ve already given ample time. Almost one year since we stopped disconnecting since March. Although we are still looking into ways to assist other customers on a case-to-case basis), he said.

Zaldarriaga also reiterated the importance of paying on time in order for the electric company to continue its operation and provide service to its customers. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr)

Meralco urged to extend installment payment scheme for customers

Robie de Guzman   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to extend its installment-based payment scheme to help its customers cope with economic difficulties due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hontiveros said implementing stricter payment policies might lead to a “disconnected nation” that will make life harder for poor families and derail efforts to revive the country’s economy.

“Hindi maganda na ngayong 2021, maliban sa COVID-19 ay magkaroon din ng epidemiya ng tanggalan ng kuryente sa ating bansa,” she said in a statement.

“Mas mahihirapan umahon ang bansa mula sa pandemya at sa bagsak na ekonomiya kung mas maraming Pilipino ang mapuputulan ng kuryente sa kanilang mga kabahayan dahil sa mga polisiya ng Meralco,” she added.

Meralco earlier announced it has begun sending out notices of disconnection to customers using 201 kilowatt-hours and more per month, and those who are behind in their monthly payments.

The power distributor also said it will be hiking power rates up to P8.7497 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) this year, which means that an average household consuming 200 kWh per month will be charged around an additional ₱55 in their bill.

Hontiveros said the disconnection policy combined with new rate adjustment in the generation charge is on top of the already high regular monthly electricity bills consumers must pay.

“Itong anunsyo ng MERALCO ay mistulang one-two-three punch sa ating mga kawawang consumer, na marami ngayon ay knock-out na sa mga utang, mahal na bilihin at kakulangan ng hanapbuhay dahil sa pandemya,” she said.

“Mas malaki na ang singil ng kuryente, andiyan pa ang panganib na matanggalan ng kuryente kapag hindi nakabayad ng buo. Baka maulit o mas malala ito sa ‘bill shock’ last year na inalmahan ng ating mga kababayan noong 2020,” she added.

Hontiveros expressed hope that MERALCO will stick to its corporate motto of “May liwanag ang buhay,” and work with the government towards programs that will prevent the denial of power services to many Filipinos who are struggling amid the pandemic.

“Electricity is an essential need lalo na ngayong may pandemya. Hindi siguro kalabisan na humiling pa ng makatwirang palugit. Bago ang lahat, kapakanan muna ng ating mga kababayan ang pangunahin na mas dapat inuuna, bago ang kita,” the senator said.

She also advised the power firm to work with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and explore the possibility of extending its debt restructuring program, which offers flexible or staggered payment options for consumers who are having difficulties paying their monthly power bills so that they could avoid disconnection.

“Siguro naman, hindi hamak na may kapasidad ang MERALCO, ang mga power suppliers at kanilang mga bangko na i-manage ang problema sa utang kumpara sa pinapasan ng mga consumers ngayon,” she said.

“Accommodating this installment-based payment scheme will also ensure that more Filipinos will not get disconnected and will remain as MERALCO’s customers, which will be beneficial in the long run,” she added.

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