Meralco is waiving the P47 convenience fee for those who opt to make their payments online during the COVID-19 quarantine period.
"We will extend the waiver of convenience fee for the entire duration of the GCQ, until the GCQ is terminated or moves to the new normal, if you will," Meralco president Ray Espinosa said at a Senate hearing earlier this week. "We will spare the consumers the cost of the convenience fee. We will need to find a way to reduce this cost to Meralco."
The electric power distribution company initially covered the convenience costs from March 16 to May 15 while the enhanced community quarantine was in effect, then started collecting again when most parts of the country transitioned into GCQ last June 1.
According to the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, his colleagues appealed to Meralco to extend the fee's waiver so that customers will choose to settle their bills from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Gatchalian stated, “We want to make it convenient for our consumers, especially this time around kahit GCQ. And we want to make sure that our consumers will not be put at risk when they go out to pay their bills. For me, the P47 is a disincentive. Lalabas na lang ako kaysa magbayad ng P47."
As for the "overestimated" and "underestimated" bills for March and April, Meralco is planning to offer an explanation through "personalized" letters.