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Facebook: Laban Konsyumer Inc.
Website : www.labankonsyumer.com
May 17, 2020
TO: ERC CHAIRPERSON/ATTY. AGNES DEVANADERA
Cc: Commissioner Catherine Maceda
FROM: LABAN KONSYUMER INC. PRESIDENT ATTY. VICTORIO MARIO A. DIMAGIBA
TOPIC: LABAN KONSYUMER CALLS ON ERC TO IMPLEMENT 6-MONTH INSTALLMENT SCHEME FOR MARCH, APRIL, MAY ELECTRICITY BILLS DUE TO EFFECTS OF GLOBAL PANDEMIC
Dear ERC Chair Agnes Devanadera and Commissioner Maceda,
Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) and its President Atty. Vic Dimagiba would like to call on the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to update its latest advisory, dated May 5, to already include provisions taking consideration of the extended modified enhanced community quarantine and lockdown.
It is our belief that electricity bills that fall within the period of the lockdown should be made to pay in 6 monthly installments, for the benefit and welfare of the consumers. ERC should find a way to assist and relieve the burden of the consumer who has been suffering throughout this whole lockdown period. Many Filipinos do not have work, jobs or a means to raise money to pay for their power bills. Thus we at LKI think that the ERC should act quickly and definitely on making a 6-month staggered payment scheme for all the electricity bills that are affected by the current lockdown. This will be done across the board, for all consumers, and will cover the entire periods of March, April, May, and without interest and charges. These are extraordinary circumstances, uncertain times, and challenging situations, but ERC must take consumers as their priority, and give us all more time to cope and adjust to the new normal. A 6-month payment scheme will be the best solution for this.
We believe that to ease the heavy burden on the consumers’ shoulders, the regulator should act immediately, as it is already late in its next announcement since the ECQ extension has already begun this weekend. Dimagiba believes that ERC is very slow to act, but should already be stepping up to assist the ailing and poor Filipino during these troubled times of coronavirus. Thus, LKI is calling for the immediate implementation of a 6-month payment installment scheme so that consumers have more time to manage their budgets and prepare for life once the lockdown ends, to make ends meet and pay for their commodities. The group said “temperatures have reached a record high, and the spike in heat index has made consumers consume almost three times their normal usage, further bloated by the fact that most consumers are staying or working from home. This higher temperature, quarantine and higher usage of power has led to bills being difficult to pay for as we move forward. Thus LKI is proposing that across the board, for all March, April and May electricity bills, these should be paid in 6 months, equal monthly installments. And the entire energy sector should comply, from the power generation, all the way to transmission and distribution. Each part of the power sector chain should comply with the 6-month installment plan as they have to look out for the consumers’ best and top interest, which right now is mere survival in these uncertain times of coronavirus. The focus of the public and of government should be health and safety, and should not be burdened by their electricity bills.
Thank you for your favorable action on the above request.
Very truly yours,
Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba, AB, LLB, LLM
RANULFO M. OCAMPO
C/O ATTY. JANEENE COLINGAN
PIPPA Ms. Anne-Estorco-Montelibano
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