In the recent statement submitted by consumer group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI), the advocacy organization and its President Atty. Vic Dimagiba said “our group would like to commend the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) as they said on Monday that it is continuing the suspension of all disconnection activities in its franchise area until April 30, 2021 following the Government’s announcement placing the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month. We hope that other utilities follow this example as well.”
LKI highlighted that “Especially since MECQ has been established and many workers still have no means to pay their bills, to protect consumer welfare, DUs like Meralco, in this case, show true compassion for the everyday citizen as they will continue to put on hold all disconnection activities until April 30.”
Dimagiba said “We hope the other utilities and electric cooperatives can follow this example as this extension will help lessen the burden of the customers and provide enough relief and time for them to settle their bills. It is welcome news that Meralco will continue to be very considerate during this period and they also vowed to assist its customers in need of help with their concerns. Others should imitate.”
LKI said that the group maintains that it is important that DUs and electric cooperatives, like Meralco and other ECs, still will continue vital operations such as meter reading, following the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and will also continue to work round the clock to serve its customers.
Dimagiba said “Our group believes that it is important and very crucial for consumer welfare that Meralco and other DUs’ business operations, including meter reading and bill delivery activities, will continue throughout the MECQ. This will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly.”
But LKI did encourage that customers who have the means, the funds and the ability to pay to settle their bills within the original due date to help manage the cash flow in the energy supply chain and ensure the continuous supply of electricity. The group feels this can also help avoid bill shock and piling up later on.
Dimagiba concluded by saying “Actually, right now, what is crucial is that utilities continue working like clockwork because they are the backbone of our country and our economy. Thus, it is good to hear that Meralco crews will also continue to be on standby 24/7 to respond to any emergencies and reports.”