HOUSE Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate has urged the Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) to extend further its “no disconnection” period as he welcomed the utility firm’s decision to allow its consumers to settle their electric bills until January 31, 2021.
“This is a much welcome move but we urge Meralco to further extend its no disconnection period for at least six months so that electricity consumers would be in a better position to pay their bills considering that many lost their jobs and are finding it hard to just put a meal on the table,” Zarate said.
Meralco made the move following calls from various groups.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco wrote a letter to Meralco president Ray Espinosa requesting to extend the no-disconnection period.
Bayan Muna chairman Neri Colmenares and Matuwid na Singil sa Kuryente (MSK) last December 10 also called on Meralco to grant at least a six-month extension of the no disconnection period.
Velasco has welcomed the move of Meralco to extend its no disconnection policy for non-payment of electric bills until January 31, 2021 at his request, saying it’s keeping with the spirit of bayanihan amid the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The extended grace period being given to our fellow Filipinos during the holiday season will provide much needed reprieve to those reeling from the devastating effects of the pandemic and natural calamities,” Velasco said.
“This good gesture on the part of Meralco will go a long way in helping our kababayans feel secure this Christmas,” he added.
The House leader had earlier written a letter to Espinosa requesting the utility giant to extend the no-disconnection policy for the entire Christmas season until end of January 2021.
Velasco said extending the no-disconnection period would help ease the burden of Meralco customers grappling with the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We appreciate that Meralco had extended the same courtesy during the height of the nationwide lockdown and we expect that the company will be as considerate this yuletide season,” Velasco stated in his November 30 letter.
In his letter response dated Dec. 14, Espinosa informed Velasco that after “careful evaluation and in consideration” of his request, Meralco will extend its no-disconnection policy for non-payment of bills from Dec. 31, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021.
Espinosa said the extended grace period will benefit more than three million Meralco customers with consumption of 200 kilowatts per hour and below during the billing month of December 2020.
The number represents around 47 percent of Meralco’s total customer base, according to Espinosa.
Velasco thanked Espinosa for “showing true bayanihan spirit and empathizing with the plight of our indigent countrymen.”
“This is how we overcome the devastating effects of this pandemic, with leaders from both private and public sectors working together to make lives better,” Velasco said.Publication Source : People's Tonight