Despite the restriction due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, Meralco’s meter reading continued.
Carrying his gadget, Edmond Miesa reads the electricity meters one by one in many houses in Quezon City.
“Natatakot din po kaya lang po kailangan magtrabaho… nagsusuot [ng] proper kagamitan para ‘di mahawa ng COVID,” said Miesa.
For consumer Loreto Dizon, who received a disconnection notice in March, it is better to read the meter than just estimate.
“Sa tingin ko kailangan basahin talaga regularly every month para naman sakto talaga babayaran ng mga consumer,” said Dizon.
Last year, at the height of the pandemic, Meralco did not read the meter for 2 months so there was an estimated billing, which resulted in a series of complaints.
Many complained because the bill swelled and the bills piled up.
“Hindi na ‘yan mauulit dahil actual na ‘yong reading,” said Joe Zaldarriaga, spokesman for the power distributor.
Meralco’s meter reading continues despite COVID-19 restrictions
Meralco has also entered a customer account number, which can be used to pay bills on their online platform, payment center, or office.
Although the disconnection is on the rise, more customers are said to have paid or entered the installment scheme.
Meanwhile, the “read and bill” system of Maynilad and Manila Water will continue unless there is a lockdown in the area.
“May mga customer kasi tayo na kaya nilang ibigay ang meter reading nila. Kung magagawa ‘yon, magagawan natin ng statement of account ‘yong customers,” explained Maynilad Spokesperson Zmel Grabillo.
“Otherwise ‘yong susunod na pagbasa na lang nila, kung ano ang magiging kunsumo, hahatin sa dalawa gaya ng dati nating ginawa,” he said.
According to Manila Water, it is not because the meter has not been read that there is no bill in March or April.
“Hindi sya iko-combine. Ije-generate pa rin ‘yong bill niya for that particular month pero naka-average siya,” said Manila Water Spokesperson Jeric Sevillla.
Maynilad and Manila Water have also started cutting connections for several months without being able to pay.