GATCHALIAN SAYS PENALTIES IMPOSED BY ERC ON MERALCO ‘REASONABLE’
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Sunday that the penalties imposed by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) over the sudden spike in their customers’ electric bills were “reasonable.”
Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, said the penalty on Meralco was almost equivalent to P300 million, as it included the discounts that would be given to the utility company’s “lifeline” customers, or those who consume 100 kWh and less.
The ERC had slapped a P19-million fine against Meralco for its alleged violations on advisories issued by the regulator during the community quarantine period starting in March until July, particularly the company’s “failure to clearly indicate that the bills were estimated” and “failure to comply with the mandated installment payment arrangement.”
Meralco Head for Regulatory Management Atty. Jose Ronald Valles said the distribution utility “will study the order, and we will file the appropriate pleading after consultation with our lawyers.”
But Gatchalian said there was no need for Meralco to study the order as it was already in the ERC resolution.