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Meralco, DTI band to buoy aching MSME



Meralco and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) renewed their commitment to support MSME amid the pandemic. The virtual signing ceremony was led by (from left) Joy Mendoza, Meralco Biz Partners Group Head; Ronnie Aperocho, Meralco SVP and Head of Networks; Ferdinand Geluz, Meralco FVP and Chief Commercial Officer; Trade Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona and Director Jerry Clavesillas, DTI-Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development. / Photograph courtesy of Meralco

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) renewed a partnership to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to hurdle the challenges posed by the pandemic by simply keeping their lights on.

“This collaboration is very timely considering the recent announcements of community quarantine. MSME have been challenged for more than a year now because of the crippling effects of the pandemic. We are grateful to DTI for the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to rebuilding the economy,” Ferdinand Geluz, Meralco First vice president and Chief Commercial Officer, said during the virtual signing ceremony.

“Since the lockdowns in March 2020, we have been committed to keeping the lights on for the customers we serve. Aside from assuring reliable service 24/7, we implemented installment payments and deferred disconnection amid the challenges our customers are facing. Today, for areas, under MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine), disconnections remain suspended, and we continue to deliver service with passion and compassion to help ease the burden of our customers amid these difficult times,” he added.

He also commended the DTI for its efforts to help MSME and for allowing Meralco to assist enterprises in its own way, and the partnership allows both to power a brighter tomorrow for MSME, Geluz noted.

Difficult period
“We all know that the past 17 months have been particularly challenging for MSME. The pandemic disrupted business activities in unprecedented ways. Since the implementation of community lockdowns, MSMEs’ cashflow has been abnormal and negatively impacted their profitability. This pandemic added to their already existing challenges, but despite this, the story of MSME has been one of resilience,” Trade Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona said.

She added the government and private sector should pool their resources to help MSME and this collaboration with Meralco will help us in the government to strengthen and assist more MSME recover and rebuild their businesses.