NAGBABALA si House Deputy Majority Leader at Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera sa Manila Electric Company (Meralco) na maaari silang sampahan ng kaso sa ilalim ng Republic Act 11469, o ang Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, kung hindi nila maipaliwanag ang “shocking electric bills” sa gitna ng pandemyang COVID-19.
“Meralco should be made to explain why it is not guilty of violating the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act following the surge in the electricity bills of its customers while the country is under a state of public health emergency and millions suffer from the economic fallout of lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19,” ani Herrera.
Nab labas ng pahayag si Herrera kasunod ng dumaraming panawagan sa Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) na imbestigahan ang biglang pagtaas ng singil sa koryente sa panahon ng malawakang enhanced community quarantine (WCQ) sa buong Luzon.
“These illegal acts, she said, are punishable with imprisonment of two months or a fine of P10,000 to P1 million, or both, at the discretion of the court,” ani Herrera.
Hinimok niya ang Meralco na sagutin ang reklamo ng mamamayan patungkol sa mga bill nito partikular ang sa Mayo.
Kung totoo ang mga sinasabi ng mga tao, lumabag ang Meralco sa direktiba ng ERC na huwag muna maningil sa panahon ng ECQ.
Ayon kay Joe Zaldarriaga, spokesperson ng Meralco, “As part of the ECQ period, some March and all April bills were estimated based on the past 3 months’ average daily consumption, following the Distribution Services and Open Access Rules (DSOAR) issued by the ERC.”
Paliwanag ni Zaldarriaga ang pagtaas ng bill ay, maaaring, bunsod ng pagtaas ng konsumo dahil nasa bahay lamang ang karamihan sa panahon ng quarantine.
“The following factors may have affected customers’ May bill, including increased consumption during ECQ, as everyone is at home. So, appliances are usually switched on most of the time throughout the day, especially appliances like fans and Airconditioners. Airconditioners, which most households would use 6 to 8 hours per day before ECQ, could be used for 12 to 24 hours per day during the ECQ. Also, temperatures are currently at a record high, leading to higher use of cooling devices,” ayon sa Meralco.
“The May bill is a result of the actual kWh Consumption from the current meter reading, with adjustments already reflected from the previous estimated consumption. This total, which is already based on the true and actual readings, is what customers actually see in the May bill. That is why you may notice a rise in the total amount due. But Meralco reassures customers that our meter reading activities continue to be accurate, and transparent. For any concerns or questions regarding your meter reading or your bills, customers can always call the Meralco hotline 16211 or visit the company’s social media accounts, and we will be more than happy to assist.”
Maaaring bayaran ang bill sa apat na installment, ayon kay Zaldarriaga. (GERRY BALDO)