The Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) said on Saturday that it is immediately suspending all disconnection activities in its franchise area until April 15 following the government’s reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite from March 29 to April 4.
In a statement, MERALCO FVP and Chief Commercial Officer Ferdinand Geluz said that the power giant is holding off disconnection activities as it is “[cognizant] of the plight of our customers amid these challenging times brought about by the pandemic and in support of the government’s effort to manage the transmission of COVID-19.”
“We hope this measure will contribute to easing the burden of our customers and provide enough relief and time for them to settle their bills,” he added.
Geluz reiterated that MERALCO will continue to be very considerate during these trying times and vowed to assist its customers in need of help in their electricity concerns.
Earlier, MERALCO committed to continue vital operations such as meter reading following the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission and will also continue to work round the clock to serve its customers.
MERALCO encouraged customers to send a personal message (PM) via Facebook Messenger, Twitter or call its 16211 hotline before going to business centers (BCs), which will be on skeleton force, for any inquiries and concerns on billing and payments as a precaution to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. This measure ensures that customers can save time and effort, but more importantly, minimizes any potential and unnecessary exposure to the virus.
BCs will remain open to accept payments, applications and customer assistance, with business hours from 7AM-3PM on weekdays. However, these will be closed from April 1 to 3 in observance of the Holy Week.
Skeleton workforce will be observed in compliance with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
Electric meter reading and delivery of bills will still continue during this year’s ECQ. Both activities were suspended in last year’s ECQ, which partly led to the spike in electricity bills and confusion among customers regarding payments.
“Rest assured there will be strict implementation of health protocols in order to safeguard the health and safety of both customers and our personnel. This will ensure that actual consumption for the month will be billed accordingly,” Geluz emphasized.”
“MERALCO crews will also continue to be on standby 24/7 to respond to any emergencies and reports,” he added.