Sanctions for Meralco if found overcharging

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Demonstrators protesting Meralco’s rate increase make noise with pans and cans outside the utility company’s headquarters on Ortigas Avenue. photo by Mike De Juan

Demonstrators protesting Meralco’s rate increase make noise with pans and cans outside the utility company’s headquarters on Ortigas Avenue. photo by Mike De Juan

MALACAÑANG on Friday said power utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has been asked to clarify computations of its latest bills and may face ‘punitive action’ if found overcharging the public.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters in a briefing the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has ordered the company “to clarify the confusion among the public as to the difference between the amount due, as well as the total amount due.”

“I would deem it good to mention at this point that the ERC has asked them to explain, and let’s wait for the response, as well as the corresponding action on the ERC on the issue whether or not they will be receiving any punitive action because of the latest billing statement,” Valte said.

Citing an update from the ERC, Valte said Meralco officials were summoned to a meeting on Thursday with the Consumer Protection Group (CPG) headed by Undersecretary Victorio Dimaguiba.


The Meralco executives said subscribers need not pay “the amount described as ‘deferred’ pending resolution of the SC TRO [Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order],” adding, “please pay in accordance with the SC TRO.”

Valte said Meralco was told to launch an information campaign to clarify the matter.

“These amounts apparently were included in the billing for purposes of being transparent to its subscribers who are affected by the pending resolution of the Supreme Court,” she added.

The CPG will find out if the power distributor is complying with its commitment, Valte said.

The ERC, on the other hand, has asked company officials to explain in five days the new electric billing format.

On Tuesday, former Rep. Teodoro Casino of Bayan Muna assailed Meralco for trying to collect its controversial power rate hike despite a restraining order from the Supreme Court.

Casino said the power firm tried to collect the first tranche of its record P4.15 per kilowatt-hour increase by passing it off as “balance from previous billing.”

“In my monthly bill dated February 13, 2014 there was a ‘balance from previous billing’ of P173.70 which, although described as ‘deferred, pending resolution of the SC temporary restraining order,’ was added to my total current amount of P2,786.86 making my total amount due P2,960.56,” he said.

“When I inquired about this with Meralco’s customer service call center, I was advised to ‘ignore’ the total amount due of P2,960.56 and just pay the total current amount,” he added.

The ERC is in the best position to determine if there has been any violation by Meralco, Valte said.

“Perhaps, we’ll get a better sense of it from the ERC after Meralco has filed the answer that they are required to file with the ERC,” she added.

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8 Comments

  1. It was really a cheap stunt for Meralco to deceive its customers with inclusion of the amount that is under TRO. Are they that desperate for funds? Sanction, a heavy one, is in order.

  2. efren najito on

    Bakit lahat na lang pabor ay ibibigay sa MERALCO? pati mga nakaw na kuryente ay ipapasa sa ibang tao, eh bakit di nila ipasa na lang lahat ng nananakaw na kuryente sa tunay na magnanakaw laamang? — dahil nangungulekta sila ng para sa nananakaw na kuryente at kapag nakahuli naman sila eh ipinapataw nila ang nararapat na CHARGES NITO to a person concerned, eh di san dmkmak na tubo nila ang labas sa kwentahan, Tulad na lang ng isang BAHAY NI DATING Vice Pres. Laurel sa may bundok s may San Pedro Lag. O iyang ninakaw nila eh ipinasa sa mga tao pero bago nila mahuli ang magnanakaw ay ipinapasa na nila at kinukulekta na nila ang bayad sa NWAWALA DAW NA KURYENTE ” kuno” sa MERALCO, OW ng mahuli nila ang magnanakaw ipinasa nila ang lahat ng ninikaw nila at may multa pa, May dalawang tinatawag silang violatin sa mga gumagamit ng kuryente — UNA– 1.I:S:C.- Illigal Service Connection- ito ay kapag nakuha nila ang metro ng kuryente na di nakakabayad sa kanila na kinabitan ng jumper para magkaroon muli ng serbisyo ng kuryente ang bahay o negosyo na tinanggalan nila ng metro dahil hindi nakakabayad. —-PANGALAWA– 2. V:O:C.–Violation Of Contract– ito ay may kasalukuyang aktibong metro na dumadaloy ang kuyente subalit ito ay kinakabitan ng mga bagay na makakapagpahina ng kunsumo o para mawalan ng marihestrong kunsumo sa metro ng kuryente na ginagamit ng nag-iiligal sa may aktibong metro, –OW ngayon kapag nahuli ang may bahay O may negosyo na saklaw ng V:O:C: iyan ay papatawan ng simula sa petsa kung kailan kinabitan ng metro at may penalty pa samantalang iyang ninakaw na iyan ay sisingil na sa publiko ng bwayang MERALCO, at hindi lamang yan dala pa ang wire at yan ay pagkakakitaan nilang muli. May standard ang ikakabit na wire tama para safe, at may metro sa anong klaseng materyal gawa, ANG bawat tinatanggal na bagay sa mga consumer ay may pipatunguhan sa MERALCO Aluminum man O tanso, samantalang ang lahat ng yan ay binabayaran ng mga consumer,— SINO NGAYON ANG PROFESSIONAL NA MAGNANAKAW?— ilathala nyo sa buong PILIPINAS para malaman nila na nakikinabang sila dahil sa CONSUMER.

  3. Meralco as a monopoly business structure and a part of an oligopolistic structure can incorporate its administrative and operational expenditures to its profit and loss statement and can pass any expenses to the paying public. This is because of the very nature of Meralco’s business structure. I will wonder if Meralco never incorporated such expenses as , travelling expenses, office carpets, bonuses and other executive amenities like executive’s family vacation expenses into the bills of the paying public.

  4. I think this is all PALABAS of the PNoy government,,,,,,,My his DFA and one of the closest to him is Albert del Rosario who is the point man of Salim in the PH in so far as
    government affairs in relation to Salim business,,,

    The govet and Salim take the people as fools . Remebr the culture of this group was molded by the absolute power of Suharto (the biggest partner of Salim)…..they monopolized everything.

    There are volumes and volumes of books and articles written about the Salims and the Suharto families,,,,,,,rapacious, ruthless, murderous…..and PNoy did not know about them ?

    How stupid do they think the people are ? Does he know that the Old man Salims house was torched ? Also the branhces of their bank , Bank Central Asia……
    POBRESITA FILIPINAS

  5. Citizens vs Meralco? Malacanang has and WILL support big business. Nothing will change.

    • That remains to be seen. I have a BIG DOUBT if the government can do it to big businesses like MERALCO, PLDT, GLOBE etc. Possible pa kung MARCOS time. EXCUSE ME, sanction no way. Government is USELESS!