Meralco to give consumers four months to complete bill payments during ECQ

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 8) — The consumers of the Manila Electric Company do not have to worry about unpaid bills during the enhanced community quarantine, as the company allows its customers to settle it via four monthly payments.

According to Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga, they established the installment system in order to assist their consumers during this global pandemic.

“’Yong hindi nabayaran because of ECQ, may hulugan na sistema. It will be divided to four monthly payments. Ito ay ginawa nga para maka agapay naman sa consumers,” he told CNN Philippines on Friday.

[Translation: There will be an installment system for unpaid dues during the ECQ. It will be divided to four monthly payments. We did this to assist customers.]

Zaldarriaga said that the payment for the unpaid dues will be added to the customer’s current bill until it gets completed in four months.

He added that the power distributing company will not conduct any disconnection operations during this time of ECQ.

Current billing method

At the moment, Meralco is averaging every consumer’s kilowatt-hour consumption for the last three months, as basis for their current bill.

“Ang naging advice at order sa amin ng regulator which is part of the magna carta, ay i-apply muna ‘yong three months’ previous average,” said Zaldarriaga

[Translation: The advice and order to us by the regulator is to apply the three months’ previous average, as according to the magna carta]

He added that the system will automatically correct the electricity bills according to the consumption of consumers, once Meralco is already allowed to physically read meters.

Because of this, some customers will get a refund if they did not consume as much electricity, while some will have to pay an additional amount.

Power outage

Various areas have been reporting power outages and Zaldarriaga said that they are closely monitoring these reports.

“Because of the sudden surge of demand, we are kind of monitoring the situation very closely. May instances po talaga na matagal ‘yong restoration efforts. But we are working on that,” he said.

[Translation: Because of the sudden surge of demand, we are kind of monitoring the situation very closely.

There are instances that that the restoration efforts may take a while, but we are working on that]

Zaldarriaga assured the public that there is enough supply of electricity, and what’s causing the brownouts are localized problems such as explosion of transmitters and wires.