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ERC urged to implement staggered electricity bill payments after ECQ to prevent disconnections

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) should consider implementing an installment option on the payment of electricity bills once the enhanced community quarantine is lifted to ensure that households will not get disconnected, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday.

“Dahil nga marami sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi nakakapagtrabaho ngayon, lalo na 'yung mga ‘no work, no pay’, ang panawagan natin sa ERC ay gumawa ng hakbang para hindi sila maputulan ng kuryente,” Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, said in a statement.

Last month, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced a 30-day payment extension for bills due from March 1 to April 14, 2020 due to the enhanced community quarantine.

It also temporarily deferred the conduct of meter reading and delivery of bills to households.

The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine has been extended until April 30.

Further, Gatchalian said that Meralco should also waive the P47 convenience fee at the company’s mobile app so that customers will be able to pay online without extra charges.

“For humanitarian reasons, let’s think of ways that will make the lives of our kababayans better and alleviate their suffering as we face this pandemic,” he said. — Dona Magsino/BM, GMA News