CONSUMERS of the Manila Electric Co. will soon be receiving refunds from the power distribution firm.
But instead of getting cash refund, consumers will simply get lower power bills until what authorities call the over-recoveries are settled.
My take in this case is that power consumers pay cash to Meralco each time they settle their electric bills. And Meralco always insists on complete settlement. Partial payment is strictly prohibited.
So how come Meralco won’t pay in cash and in full when it refunds overcharges to power consumers?
Lawmakers should look into this unfair practice.
The latest refund to be made by Meralco came after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) cleared the power distributor to start the refund of over-recoveries based on its actual weighted average tariff charges or AWAT worth P13.89 billion.
In its application to ERC last December, Meralco sought the confirmation of the commission on its AWAT as against the ERC-approved Interim Average Rate to find out if there are any over-or under-recoveries from July 2015 to November 2020.
“The commission approved Meralco’s prayer for the issuance of a provisional authority in order to allow their customers to immediately enjoy the benefits of the proposed refund and provide immediate rate relief, especially during this time of the pandemic,” said ERC chairperson and chief executive officer Agnes Devanadera.
The ERC order will translate into an average refund of P0.1528 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to its customers in a span of two years or until the equivalent amount is fully returned to customers.
But does Devanadera really think consumers will enjoy such benefits and relief amid the pandemic if the refund will be done in trickles and not in cash?
Globe Telecom Inc. has reopened 99 percent of its 196 stores across the country, saying only one store, located at the TGT headquarters in Bonifacio Global City, is yet to open.
Globe stores offer assistance for concerns involving postpaid plan renewal, postpaid applications, reactivation of terminated accounts, device pick-up, myBusiness applications, and prepaid products, among others.
After-sales concerns such as change of ownership, change of SIM, device return or replacement, and reconnection of accounts and unbarring requests, it said, may also be brought to the nearest Globe store.
Bills payment and GCash cash-in may also be accommodated at any Globe Store.
At any rate, to prevent overcrowding and comply with government-mandated health and safety protocols, Globe stores will only accommodate customers with appointments.
Bernie Llamzon, Globe EVP and head of channel management, said the reopening of stores came after quarantine restrictions were eased.
Globe stores were closed in March last year in compliance with government-mandated quarantine restrictions brought by about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stores were slowly reopened as early as May 2020 as some areas were placed in less restrictive quarantine classifications.
Honestly, this corner would be happier if Globe can fix signal problems of its subscribers. What’s the point of selling at these stores that are about to reopen when they can’t provide the public with a reliable connection?
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