Velasco himself asked Meralco to further push its no-disconnection policy in light of the “bayanihan” spirit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The extended grace period being given to our fellow Filipinos during the holiday season will provide much needed reprieve to those reeling from the devastating effects of the pandemic and natural calamities,” Velasco said in a statement on Sunday.
“This good gesture on the part of Meralco will go a long way in helping our kababayans feel secure this Christmas,” he added.
On November 30, Velasco wrote Meralco president Ray Espinosa asking for the extension of the no-disconnection policy during the Christmas holiday season until the end of January 2021.
Velasco said the extension would ease Meralco’s customers’ burden, who continue to endure the impact of the global crisis.
“We appreciate that Meralco had extended the same courtesy during the height of the nationwide lockdown, and we expect that the company will be as considerate this yuletide season,” Velasco said in his letter.
Meralco’s no-disconnection policy extended until January 31,2021
Espinosa responded and told Velasco in a December 14 letter that “careful evaluation and in consideration” of his request, Meralco would expand its no-disconnection policy for unpaid bills from December 31, 2020, to January 31, 2021.
Over three million Meralco consumers with consumption of 200 kilowatts per hour and below during the billing month of December 2020 would benefit from the extension. This number represents 47% of Meralco’s total customer base.
Velasco thanked Espinosa for “showing true bayanihan spirit and empathizing with the plight of our indigent countrymen.”
“This is how we overcome the devastating effects of this pandemic, with leaders from both private and public sectors working together to make lives better,” he added.
Meralco is Metro Manila’s only electric power distributor and holds the power distribution franchise for 22 cities and 89 municipalities, including the whole of the National Capital Region and the exurbs that form Mega Manila.
The name “Meralco” is an acronym for Manila Electric Railroad And Light Company, the company’s original name until 1919.