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Meralco heeds Go’s call

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Meralco CEO Ray Espinosa apologizing to customers during the hearing. (SotP)

Utility firm Meralco is sending out new explanation on its electricity billing during the enhanced community quarantine period and assured overcharged customers of immediate refund in response to the call of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to address complaints on high electricity bills.

Answering a query of Go on Meralco’s basis for calculating three months of power consumption and why it was lumped into one billing, Meralco CEO Ray Espinosa explained during a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Energy on Monday that the kilowatt-per-hour consumption reading between February and June billing period were prorated based on the formula provided by the Distribution Services and Open Access Rules.

Espinosa apologized to Meralco customers for the worries the billing caused. He said the company will hire more call center agents to help address consumer concerns.

Go also asked when does Meralco intend to implement the refund to customers who have been overcharged. Espinosa said they may immediately get the refund.

“Siguraduhin po natin na naaayon sa batas ang patakarang sinusunod. At kung may mali, i-tama dapat nila sa lalong madaling panahon. Dapat gawan ng corrective measures o adjustments sa billing kaagad,” Go said.

(Let’s make sure that the rules being followed are in accordance with the law. And if there is a wrong billing, it must be corrected immediately.)

Go stressed that “profits should not be prioritized over the welfare of the general public.”

“Unahin natin palagi ang interes at kapakanan ng ordinaryong Pilipino,” he stressed.

(Let’s always prioritize the interest and welfare of ordinary Filipinos.)

Meanwhile, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chief Agnes Devanadera revealed during the hearing that it has added additional personnel to address consumer complaints.

Devanadera cited that there are already around 47,000 complaints lodged with ERC against different distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.

p: wjg

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