Meralco lockdown bill based on 3-month average: spokesperson

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 02 2020 04:08 PM

A man lines up an electrical cable on overhead electric meters along Recto Avenue in Manila on July 31, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Customers of the Manila Electic Co this month will be charged the average of their last 3 bills, a company spokesperson said Thursday, as he assured the public of steady power supply halfway into the monthlong lockdown of Luzon to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The difference between the 3-month average and the actual power consumption of customers from March 17 to April 14 will be added to or subtracted from next month's bill, said Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga. 

"Pagkatapos ng lahat ng adjstments, ang inyong tamang nakonsumo lang po ang babayaran," he said in a press briefing. 

(After all the adjustments, customers will pay for their actual consumption only.) 

"Ito ay para mapangalagaan ang kaligtasan ng ating meter readers, ganoon din po iyong kaligtasan ng publiko," he added. 

(This is so that we can take care of the safety of our meter readers and the public.)
 
Merlco suspended the maintenance and upgrade of its distribution facilities to guarantee continuous power supply during the lockdown, set until April 12. Its personnel "are out there in the field" to respond to emergency power interruptions, said Zaldarriaga. 

"Meralco will continue to keep the lights on. Patuloy tayong maglilingkod sa ating customers," he said. 

The peak electricity demand for Luzon recently went down by 20 to 30 percent, said National Grid Corp of the Philippine spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza. 

"Sapat ang magiging suplay ng kuryente (the electricity supply will be enough)," she said in the same briefing. 

The NGCP will donate P500 million for buying medical equipment and safety gear for COVID-19 frontliners, and another P500 million for food packs that will be distributed nationwide, he said.