The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) has paid its Php19 million fine imposed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for supposedly violating the agency’s directives regarding its billing of customers from March to July of this year.
Based on a report from BusinessWorld, MERALCO Utility Economics Head Lawrence Fernandez said that the fine was settled as a “gesture of goodwill” last September 11. At the same time, he stated that the amount paid should be less.
MERALCO was slapped with the said fine, Php100,000 daily from May 5 to July 9, for allegedly failing to clearly communicate to its customers that its charges during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) were only estimates. The ERC made its decision upon evaluating various billing statements.
In addition, the power company supposedly failed to comply with the ERC’s mandate to implement an installment payment scheme for all of the power distributor’s customers.
Millions of the power giant’s customers were shocked with the spike in their electric bills covering the period of the ECQ over Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.
The ERC likewise ordered MERALCO to take care of their poor customers’ distribution, metering, and supply charges worth around Php200 million. These would be reflected in their October bills.