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Do a Meralco, other power firms urged

CHAIRMAN of the House committee on energy and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo urged electric cooperatives (ECs) and distribution utilities (DUs) nationwide to imitate Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and also extend the disconnection privilege to their customers.

Arroyo made the appeal following the decision of Meralco to extend its disconnection policy for non-payment of electric bills.

According to Arroyo, the ECs and DUs should look for ways on how to grant the same privilege to their customers as that of Meralco.

The House leader thanked Meralco for showing compassion and understanding to Filipinos in their present situation.

Meralco’s no-disconnection policy, though only targeting Meralco consumers with monthly consumptions of 200 kilowatt per hour and below, will benefit more than 3 million electric consumers, comprising about 47 percent of the power giant’s customers.

“As Chairman of the House Committee on Energy, I would request the same from electric cooperatives nationwide as well as other private distribution utilities to benefit the rest of our countrymen,” Arroyo said.

Earlier, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco announced that Meralco has extended its disconnection policy until January 31, 2021 to give consumers more time to settle their unpaid bills which were incurred during the lockdown period.

Meralco’s no-disconnection policy for unpaid bills was supposed to end at the end of December before Velasco stepped in with his request. The extended grace period was confirmed by Meralco president Ray Espinosa.

In addition, Arroyo said that his committee would soon be calling a hearing to help the electric cooperatives and DUs find ways in assisting their clienteles.

“The House Committee on Energy intends to call for a hearing soonest with ECs and private DUs so that we could determine how these ECs and DUs could extend assistance to their clients in light of the current pandemic,” Arroyo said.

“We all need to sacrifice a little to help our country,” he added.

Publication Source :    People's Journal