ERC Issues Show Cause Order to MERALCO
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued a Show Cause Order to the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) upon the latter’s alleged violation of certain directives contained in the series of Advisories that the former issued during the government’s implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) measures. In its Order dated 29 May 2020, the ERC directed MERALCO to submit its explanation on why it should not be held liable for its alleged violations of the ERC directives within ten (10) days from its receipt of the subject Order.“The Commission provided enough guidance to the distribution utilities on their dealings with their consumers during the periods of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), so as not to cause additional burden at the time of a Public Health Emergency due to COVID-19. We cannot tolerate such non-compliance and any erring party must be held accountable for their actions or misactions”
, ERC Chairperson and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera explained.
In its Order, the ERC indicated that MERALCO allegedly violated certain directives in the Advisories it issued particularly with respect to:
(1) x x x x on the utilization of estimated billing may be applied, provided that the word “ESTIMATE” be clearly written on the consumer bill x x x x x (Item No. 3 of 26 March 2020 Advisory, Item No. 4 of 15 April 2020 Advisory, and Item No. 5 of 5 May 2020 Advisory);
(2) The cumulative amount of electricity bill that was supposed to have fallen due within the ECQ shall be amortized in four (4) equal monthly installments, payable in the four (4) succeeding billing months following the end of the ECQ (Item No. 6 of 15 April 2020 Advisory); and
(3) x x x x x payments thereof by customers in areas covered by ECQ extension until 15 May 2020 shall commence no earlier than 30 May 2020 (Item No. 2 of 5 May 2020 Advisory).