A consumer-energy group thanked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in ordering power distributors to implement a ‘no disconnection policy’ in this time of pandemic.
“The Power for People Coalition (P4P) extends its appreciation to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for its advisory mandating no disconnections until the end of the year,” said the P4P.
However, the group also expressed disappointment in the policy that is being implemented only to those consume less than 200 kilowatthours (KWH), saying the economic impact of the bill shock, is felt by almost all consumers and not just those in the working class.
“And even if the advisory were extended to all victims of the Meralco bill shock, P4P stands firm that this relief is only temporary, until the ERC can resolve the underlying issues that allowed the bill shock to happen in the first place,” the group said.
They insisted that for true reform in the energy sector, there must be a moratorium on payments for the bill shock period until all bills during the ECQ period have been examined for fairness.
There should also be a more flexible payment scheme applied for the bills, all pending refunds returned, reforms in Meralco billing practices carried out, and an independent audit of Meralco has been conducted.
“Lights may stay on for some homes Christmas, but so long as the economic dislocation brought about by the pandemic is not resolved, there is no guarantee that the coming new year would be a bright one for Meralco consumers..” added the group.