Senate Energy panel chief urges Meralco: Explain new electricity bills to consumers

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 26 2020 05:56 PM

MANILA - Senate Committee on Energy chair Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday urged Meralco to explain to consumers why their new electricity bills show higher consumption compared to previous months.

Gatchalian said he also sought an explanation from Meralco as he could not understand the computation of his own electricity bill.

"Ang tao gusto magbayad. Gusto lang nila maintindihan ano ang binabayaran nila," Gatchalian said in an online press conference.

(Consumers want to pay. But they want to understand what they are paying for.)

"Maraming doubts, maraming question marks na dapat ma-answer," he said.

(There are a lot of doubts, a lot of question marks that need to be answered.)

Meralco earlier said that the June bill will reflect a household's consumption from March 1 to May 31, when physical reading of meters were postponed due to lockdowns because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The amount is payable on an installment basis until November 15, 2020, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga earlier said.

Gatchalian said the power distribution company still needs to thoroughly explain the computation process to consumers, especially those calling Meralco's hotlines.

"Explain niyo sa tao paano niyo na-compute 'yun. Sagutin niyo agad. You have to explain properly," he said.

(You have to explain how you computed that amount. You have to respond to questions. You have to explain properly.)

Gatchalian's energy committee is expected to conduct a hearing in the coming days to tackle electricity-related issues during the global pandemic.