Relief from bills payment sought

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    Advocacy groups said Congress and the Energy Regulatory Commission should intervene for the imposition of a moratorium on the payment of electric bills incurred during the enhanced community quarantine.

    Power for People Coalition (P4P), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, the Freedom from Debt Coalition and Sanlakas made this appeal as Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is poised to start issuing disconnection notices to customers by next month.

    “Despite the hearings, consumers are still waiting for concrete action from Congress. There is a looming crisis of much of Metro Manila going dark when classes are online and when most people are forced to work from their homes. We ask Congress, as our elected representatives, to make this their priority,” said Gerry Arances, P4P convenor.

    The groups are also seeking for a more flexible payment scheme and the return of all pending refunds from the distribution utility.

    When asked for comment, Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said October 31 deadline given to customers to settle their unpaid bills during the quarantine will no longer be extended.

    “We have always been cognizant of the fact that we know that some customers are having difficulties so we will probably look at it under a case to case basis since we don’t have a blanket policy to date,” Zaldarriaga said.