MANILA - Meralco on Friday advised households to settle their electric bills to avoid the piling up of dues even while it has extended the period when it won't cut connection of those with unpaid bills.
Meralco earlier said the no disconnection period has been extended up to May 14, in line with the extension of the modified enhanced community quarantine in NCR Plus, which covers Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna.
"Meralco has extended the no disconnection policy until May 14 as NCR plus bubble is also under MECQ for the next 2 weeks," Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga told ABS-CBN News.
Estela Caniezo has received disconnection notices for both water and electricity.
Caniezo said the family only relies on her P3,000 SSS pension and the income of some family members who are also out of regular jobs due to the pandemic.
Caniezo expressed worries that her P7,000 power bill and P4,000 water bill would lead to disconnection soon if they cannot raise money to pay.
Meanwhile, Caniezo's neighbor Marilou makes sure she pays her bills on time.
Unlike other customers with bills past due from last year, Marilou said it was more prudent to immediately pay to avoid bills piling up.
She said it is better to eat just rice and salt and scrimp on food rather than worry about disconnection of utilities once the bills pile up.
Zaldarriaga said paying bills up front would prevent disconnections and bigger utility dues in the future.
Consumers should take advantage of short lines at Meralco branches to settle their dues, as the queue is expected to get longer once the MECQ restriction eases.