The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) announced on Saturday it is immediately suspending all disconnection activities in its franchise area until April 15, to ease the burden of its customers affected by the declaration of an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus bubble.
The government earlier announced that the NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will be under the strictest quarantine measure for one week, beginning March 29 up to April 4, 2021.
“Cognizant of the plight of our customers amid these challenging times brought about by the pandemic and in support of the government’s effort to manage the transmission of Covid-19, we commit to put on hold all disconnection activities until April 15 2021,” said Ferdinand Geluz, Meralco chief commercial officer.
“We hope this measure will contribute to easing the burden of our customers and provide enough relief and time for them to settle their bills,” he added.
He noted that Meralco will continue to be “very considerate during these trying times and vowed to assist its customers in need of help in their electricity concerns.”
In an earlier statement, Meralco committed that it will continue vital operations such as meter reading following the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission and will continue to work round the clock to serve its customers.
The company, meanwhile, encouraged customers to send a personal message via Facebook Messenger, Twitter or call its 16211 hotline before going to Meralco Business Centers (BCs), which will be on skeleton force, for any inquiries and concerns on billing and payments as a precaution to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
This measure ensures that customers can save time and effort, but more importantly, minimizes any potential and unnecessary exposure to the virus.
The distribution utility said its BCs will remain open to accept payments, applications, and customer assistance. Business hours will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on skeleton workforce in compliance with IATF guidelines from Monday to Friday and 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.
BCs will be closed from April 1 to 3 in observance of Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday.
Likewise, electric meter reading and delivery of bills will continue during this time, with Meralco personnel working under the strict health guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
“Meralco business operations, including meter reading activities, will continue despite stricter quarantine measures,” Geluz said.
“Rest assured there will be strict implementation of health protocols in order to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and our personnel. This will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly,” he added.
“Meralco crews will also continue to be on standby 24/7 to respond to any emergencies and reports.” — DVM, GMA News