Meralco refund to be reflected in March billing statement

From a report by Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 04 2014 09:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2014 08:19 PM

MANILA – The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has announced it will refund customers who paid the December generation charge that was stopped by the Supreme Court.

It was included in the “total amount due” of the February billing given to 1.5 million of the 5 million customers of Meralco.

Meralco told the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) that the refund will be credited to the March billing.

“Ang gagawin ng Meralco, starting March 2014 bill ang mga nagbayad na ito ay ike-credit to bill nalang nila ang naibayad na deferred amount. Ang kanilang idis-discontinue, is the deferred amount [it] will no longer be included in the total amount due,” said ERC executive director Francis Juan.

But Meralco's refund is not appeasing activists, who held a protest at the ERC to denounce the rising cost of electricity.

Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello tried to file a petition against the power rate hike on Tuesday but he was blocked by security guards.

“Hindi na pwede ‘yung mga pro forma increase ng Meralco na bago pa bigyan ng ERC ng approval ay ina-assume na ng Meralco,” he said.

Bello wanted to hand the petition to ERC chairperson Zenaida Ducut herself, but Ducut was not in her office, leaving the lawmaker more upset.

“For the first time in her many years as ERC chair, she should do her job and listen to consumers,” he said.

Bello and his companions had no choice but to continue their protest outside the ERC.