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Marcos asks utility firms: Suspend disconnection for unpaid electricity, water bills

By Hannah L. Torregoza

Senator Imelda “Imee” Marcos on Sunday called on electricity and water firms to suspend disconnection for consumers’ unpaid bills while the government is still battling the COVID-19 crisis.

Senator Imee Marcos (Senator Imee Marcos Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Imee Marcos (Senator Imee Marcos Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Marcos made the call as many consumers around the country were surprised by their spiking electricity and water bills.

While these public utility companies have offered consumers an option to pay in installment basis, the senator urged them not to disconnect the electricity and water services for those who cannot afford to pay at this time.

“We experienced electric shock when our electricity bills surged last month, and they keep telling that’s not true, that it’s automatically generated,” Marcos said in an interview over GMANewsTV.

“In the meantime, double whammy because aside from problems on electricity rates we also have problems on water rates. We already have a problem on COVID, then Meralco and water firms are also increasing rates,” she lamented.

“So they should suspend disconnection. Hold it off, and I hope they can charge customers slowly, not just suddenly,” the senator reiterated.

The Senate committee on economic affairs said she also believes electricity and water firms can still recover their losses from residential customers.

Marcos said she believes the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), in particular, can earn much from residential accounts since all people are staying in their homes due to the pandemic.

“They can really recoup any losses they failed to earn from plants or corporate accounts, because they can earn that from residential accounts,” she pointed out.

In a separate interview, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, said he will again call for a hearing if he does not receive a clear explanation from Meralco and other energy officials about the huge spikes in electric bills.

Gatchalian said he is planning to write Meralco to inform them that he is also dissatisfied with the way the power firm explained the electricity bills for the month of May and June, as shown in their website and in the copy of bills sent to consumers.

“I also got confused. I’m not satisfied and happy with their explanation for the billing month of June. What happened in May, happened again this June,” Gatchalian said.

“So we will wait for their reply and if we are not satisfied we will hold another hearing and invite them again and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC),” he said.

Gatchalian said, he too, wants Meralco to suspend any plans of charging power consumers immediately.

Marcos agreed with Gatchalian saying Meralco first has to explain why electricity rates of its customers increased drastically.

“I believe (ERC) Chairman (Agnes) Devanadera is very cooperative with us as when we investigate the issue thoroughly precisely because it is a big hassle for the people,” she stressed.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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