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Business

Meralco warns vs discounts in paying bills via social media

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
Meralco warns vs discounts in paying bills via social media
Electrical linemen conduct maintenance check on electric posts along BIR Road in Diliman, Quezon City on August 7, 2023.
Jesse Bustos / The Philippine STAR

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has warned the public against scammers claiming that customers can pay their electric bills through social media accounts to get discounts.

“It is not true that you can pay your Meralco bill on Facebook,” Meralco spokesperson and head of corporate communications Joe Zaldarriaga said.

“It is also not true that you can get a discount in your bill if you pay through a certain Facebook user,” he said.

Zaldarriaga stressed that Meralco does not accept payment through any social media account.

He also reminded the company’s over 7.8 million customers to transact using only authorized Meralco online payment channels.

Meralco is the largest electric power distribution company in the country, providing electric service within its franchise area coverage which includes Metro Manila, all of the provinces of Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan, and parts of the provinces of Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon.   

Meanwhile, Meralco also urged its qualified customers to apply for the lifeline discount.

With the implementation of the lifeline rate program in full swing, the power distributor urged its qualified customers, particularly beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and other marginalized households with certification from their local Social Welfare and Development Office, to apply for inclusion in the subsidy mechanism to continue getting discounts on their electricity bills. 

Meralco said only customers with approved applications can receive the lifeline rate.

To apply, the company said qualified and interested customers can visit the nearest Meralco Business Center. 

Full implementation of the lifeline rate program commenced on Jan. 1, providing qualified poor households with discounts in their electricity bills.

Of the 4.2 million 4Ps members, however, there were only 191,399 lifeline beneficiaries that registered in the lifeline rate program as of Dec. 15, 2023.

Given the still low registration numbers, the Department of Energy earlier called on household beneficiaries under the 4Ps to avail of the electricity lifeline rate.

Distribution utilities such as Meralco, meanwhile, have been reminded to continue accepting and processing applications within the timeline prescribed under the program’s implementing rules and regulations. 

They are likewise directed to continue with their promotion efforts to disseminate information and enlighten the public on the benefits of the program.

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