ERC orders Meralco to justify bill estimates


ERC orders Meralco to explain why it should not be held responsible for allegedly violating the guidelines the regulator imposed during the COVID-19 lockdown to help the people.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Wednesday said it had issued a show-cause order to The wants Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) for defying certain orders of the commission that guided utilities on how to charge power users during the enhanced community quarantine and the modified lockdown.

“We cannot tolerate such non-compliance and any erring party must be held accountable for their actions or misactions,” ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Agnes VST Devanadera said in a statement.

The commission said the listed utility violated its order on estimated billing, the application of the former staggered payment scheme, and the start of bills payments on May 30 for customers in areas under strict lockdown. In a memo dated May 29.

Another concern is that Meralco charged its customers a convenience fee of P47 for paying their bills through the Meralco app. After being sighted, Meralco apologized and said the fee would be refunded.

But in a discussion at the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Meralco said it started charging for the fee again since customers now had other options to pay their bills.

In response, the country’s biggest electricity distributor maintained that it did not break any government regulation despite being also hit by the pandemic.

“We believe that we have complied with the existing regulations and directives set by the regulator and we will explain in full to the Commission the basis for our actions and compliance,” Jose Ronald V. Valles, Meralco’s head of Regulatory Management, said in a Viber message.

“We reiterate that Meralco has not violated any rule even if our operations were severely challenged by this pandemic,” the Meralco official added. More..

PSE:MER – Manila Electric Company is Listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange as $MER last traded price was 292.00 up by +0.34% as of June 10, 2020 3:30 PM with 84.69M value traded.

-Stockbytes PH, June 11, 2020

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