ERC orders staggered payment scheme for electricity bills

MANILA, Philippines – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) directed electricity distribution companies to implement a staggered payment scheme amid the coronavirus lockdown.

The ERC said in an advisory that customers must be given a grace period for bills due from March 16 to April 30 without interest, penalties, fees, and other charges.

The total amount of the electricity bills for that period should be amortized in 4 equal monthly installments, payable in 4 succeeding billing months after the end of the "enhanced community quarantine" (ECQ).

"This shall be reflected as a separate item in the electricity bill due on those succeeding months, provided that the first billing due date following the ECQ shall be earlier than May 15, 2020," said the ERC.

For those who can settle their electricity bills, the ERC encouraged these customers to pay by the original due date to help energy companies with their cash flow. (READ: Rappler Talk: Coronavirus and the economy)

The ERC likewise urged companies to incentivize early payments.

The Manny Pangilinan-led Manila Electric Company said it will comply with the ERC's order. – Rappler.com