Meralco’s latest monthly power bill for the month of January to February 2014 illegally includes a rate increase that the Supreme Court has ordered temporarily suspended.

In my monthly bill dated Feb. 13, 2014, there is included a “Balance From Previous Billing” of P173.70 which, although described as “Deferred, pending resolution of SC TRO”, was added to my Total Current Amount of P2,786.86, making my Total Amount Due P2,960.56.

When I inquired about this with Meralco’s customer service call center, I was advised to “ignore” the Total Amount Due of P2,960.56 and just pay the Total Current Amount.

Obviously, Meralco is trying to go around the SC’s TRO in surreptitiously adding the controversial rate hike that should not have been included in the monthly bill in the first place.

Nagbabakasakaling makalusot ang Meralco. If my wife did not point out the anomaly and I did not bother to check with their customer service, I would have done what most consumers habitually do – simply pay what is in the Total Amount Due portion of the bill.

This is clearly bad faith on Meralco’s part and a blatant violation of the SC order.

We in People Opposed to unWarranted Electricity Rates (POWER) are asking the Supreme Court and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to stop Meralco from deceiving their own customers. Such practices should not be allowed and Meralco held accountable. We shall file the formal complaints within the week.

Further, we demand that Meralco reveal to the public how many customers they have charged the rates in question, how much they have collected, and immediately refund the amount in keeping with the spirit of the SC TRO.#



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