April 23, 2013
We protest PSALM’s plans to question the ERC-mandated refund of the double-charged line rental fees. PSALM owes it to power consumers to make possible the refund in the most efficient and beneficial way. If PSALM exhausts all legal remedies, this may go all the way to the SC, thereby depriving consumers with much needed immediate relief via the refund. The President should direct PSALM to comply with the ERC order.
PSALM should also prepare to refund consumers outside the Meralco franchise areas who were also double charged. The refund will benefit consumers from Luzon and Visayas. PSALM should not say that it has no money or that its priority now are payments for Napocor debts. The interests of the consumers should always come first.
The double-charging of the line rental fees came in the aftermath of the privatization of the power sector. It remains to be seen if the ERC has effectively stopped the double-charging, if the rates have been adjusted, or if consumers are still paying double.