The government has directed power companies to extend their grace periods and staggered payment schemes with the state of calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic still in effect.
In its advisory, the Department of Energy (DOE) ordered electric generation and power utility firms to offer a 30-day grace period of at least 30 days and allow instalment payments of bills within community quarantines.
This is in compliance with Republic Act 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan II).
The Energy Regulatory Commission, meanwhile, is set to direct power utilities like the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) to extend the grace period for at least 30 days following a request from the DOE.
Despite the extension, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi urged consumers to pay their bills within the original due dates if they’re able to do so.
MERALCO had already extended the payment period for customers consuming 201 kilowatt-hours and above to October 31 from September 30. Meanwhile, lifeline customers or those consuming 200 kWhs or less had been given a six-month leeway, or until November.