LEST Due Diligencer be accused again of singling out the Zobel-controlled companies, it is starting this piece by repeating what it has partially taken up in a previous column about the Manila Electric Co. and how it has been passing on to consumers additional future expenses.
Last month’s piece was culled from a letter from one Joe Pascual, who, in his email on November 11, wrote: “I received my November bill on 8th of this month for the period covering October 6 to November 6, 2013. The rate increase was already reflected in the bill. I cannot understand, however, how the increase was applied to my electricity consumption that occurred in October.”
Meralco had a ready explanation. Alfredo Panlilio, a senior vice president, explained in his letter attached to Meralco’s monthly billings that the increase in Panlilio’s electricity charges “is for a maintenance activity dated November 9 to December 8, 2013.”
Really? Meralco charging its customers for future expense, according to Pascual, is “just wrong.”
Then recently, Panlilio again wrote Meralco’s customers informing them of the increase in their monthly bills because “of the scheduled maintenance work of some power plants and the Camago-Malampaya natural gas pipeline.”
“Rest assured that the projected upward adjustment is temporary,” Panlilio wrote, adding that “we look forward to February 2014 when rates are expected to normalize.”
Well, the consumers can only wait for Panlilio’s expectation that Meralco’s “upward adjustment” would take effect until January next year only. But what if the maintenance work takes longer than scheduled? Who is to blame for inefficiency?
Whether it should be Meralco or the government, you and I could presume that Panlilio would write consumers again, advising them “to “please bear with us.”
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As a subscriber, Due Diligencer wants some clarifications on how Innove or Globe computes its subscribers’ monthly charges. Should it pay, for example, the full amount of P3,272.09 for the period October 13 to November 13 when it included what Globe defined in the bill as “monthly recurring fee” of P1,382.82? How did this additional charge come about? Perhaps, Due Diligencer has not been as diligent as it should be, or as good in arithmetic as the Zobels’ highly paid executives that it could have been wrong in assuming that it has been religiously meeting its monthly payments to Globe or Innove, when it has been remiss in doing so.
In addition to the monthly regular charges, Globe or Innove also bills Due Diligencer “adjustments” of P66.96 in the latest bill and P89.28 in the previous one. Reading through the monthly billings, it appears these were “for late payment” and for monthly “paper bills” that it sometimes sent to it after due date.
Wow! Globe’s management has been successful in thinking ways to boost its earnings to please its major stockholder, which is Mermac Inc., at the expense of its subscribers.
Like the other Globe subscribers, Due Diligencer has no right to complain because it has been warned that “if no discrepancy is reported within 30 days from this bill’s cut-off date, the contents of this statement will be considered correct.” This writer is taking the warning very seriously by collating the receipts it received from Globe for over three years now. Then, he would have recopied and perhaps send them to Globe for reconciliation with its own files.
On a personal note, Due Diligencer is appealing to benefactors and would be benefactors of charitable institutions not to donate anything in the name of this writer. There is no such thing as generosity by proxy.