By Fernan Angeles
MERALCO subscribers need not cram where to find money to pay for their bills to avoid disconnection as the giant power distributor caved in the pressure and agreed not to cut off electricity of delinquent households until the end of the year.
In a statement, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said that they welcome the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) plan to extend the no disconnection policy until the end of the year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will await the guidelines of the ERC or the ERC advisory regarding the Bayanihan Act and the extension and rest assured po that we will comply should there be an order based on the new guidelines or advisory,” Zaldarriaga said.
“We will be very considerate. Disconnection is not really part of our primordial concern,” he added.
On Tuesday, the ERC said it is planning to extend the no disconnection ultimatum given by Meralco until the end of the year as consumers continue to grapple with the economic impact of the pandemic.
During a Senate hearing on the ERC’s proposed P564 million budget for 2021, Senator Risa Hontiveros asked if the moratorium on issuing electricity disconnection notices could be extended beyond the October 31 to December 31 deadline.
“‘Yan po ang nakalagay sa aming draft ngayon. Sinusundan din po namin ang spirit, not just the letter of the laws,” ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes Devanadera said.
Devanadera underscored that the ERC had always been an advocate of relaxing disconnection policies amid the pandemic, taking into consideration the situation of the consumers.
Nonetheless, she said those who can pay their electricity bills must not delay doing so.