After extending its no-disconnection policy for over ten months, the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) announced it will start issuing disconnection notices to customers in the low-income group whose bills are unpaid and already past its due starting April.
MERALCO spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said that the extension for customers who consume 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and below has ended, so they will now be included as well as those with unpaid bills.
The extension for the lifeliners is only until the end of the month.
Last February, the power giant said it will not cut the supply for lifeliners who have unpaid electricity bills following Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the Department of Energy’s recommendation to extend the no-disconnection policy because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MERALCO implemented a staggered payment scheme in 2020 triggered by the lockdowns stemming from the global health crisis. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) later prohibited power distributors from cutting supply for lifeline clients for the rest of the year.
Despite issuing the disconnection notices, Zaldarriaga said that the power distributor will still continue to reach out and help their customers find a way to pay their dues.