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P1 million electricity bill shocks Oriental Mindoro customers

Several customers of the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO) were shocked after their monthly electric bill spiked to nearly P1 million.

According to Mark Salazar’s Thursday report on “24 Oras,” ORMECO apologized over the incident after photos of the electric bills of some residents from Calapan, Oriental Mindoro went viral.

The electric cooperative admitted its meter reader made an error in the customers' statement of account (SOA), adding it is now investigating the incident.

“With regard po doon sa nag-trending recently sa FB na electric bill amounting to P1 million, we admit our meter reader has committed an error because of double entry of one digit,” ORMECO Member Services Division supervisor Moira Lee Vilan said.

“There was negligence because he never checked the SOA before distributing it to the consumer. It was unintentional and merely human error,” she added.

A correct SOA was issued to the customer the same day the erroneous bill was delivered but ORMECO said the photo was already trending online.

“We encourage our consumers to report their complaints to us directly instead of posting it online so that we can resolve their concerns and queries,” said Vilan.

Likewise, some beach resorts in the Pinamalayan town are asking ORMECO about their higher electricity bills for May even with fewer tourists due to the oil spill off Naujan.

“Malaki po ang itinaas niya kasi yung April bill namin ay P28,748 tapos ‘yung ibang bill dito sa opisina kasama ang restaurant P8,205 lang pero ngayon naging P33,750 na po yung dating P28,000,” a business owner said.

(There’s a leap in our April bill. We paid P28,748 in electricity fees for our resort last month. For our office and restaurant, it was P8,205. It jumped to P33,750 this month.)

GMA Integrated News sought ORMECO's comment but it has yet to issue a statement.—Sundy Locus/LDF, GMA Integrated News