TO : THE HONORABLE PRESIDING OFFICER AND MEMBERS OF
THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN
SUBJECT : 1. PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF HON. RAMON G. SULLANO DATED JULY
21, 2020 DURING THE 53RD REGULAR SESSION OF THE 13TH
SANGGUNIAG PANLALAWIGAN RELATIVE TO THE EXCESSIVE
BILLS OF ILECO I, II AND III.
Relative to the Committee Hearing conducted regarding the excessive bills of ILECO I, II and III as raised in the privilege speech by the chairperson of the Committee on Transportation, Communication and Public Utilities. Invited as resource persons were: the General Managers of ILECO 1 (Engr. Miguel Paguntalan, Jr.), ILECO II (Engr. Jose. Redmond Eric Roquios), ILECO III (Mrs. ConsorciaPeranada),Representatives of Consumer Group(Atty. FebiFanco, Ms. BlessieLuzarita, Mr. Roger Caro) and BOD President of ILECO III(Ms.Jowella Juarez) at the SanggunaingPanlalawigan Session Hall on July 30, 2020.
Also in attendance were: Committee Vice-Chairman,Hon. Domingo. Oso, Jr. and Committee members namely:Hon. Rolando Distura, Hon. Renee Valencia, Hon.RolitoCajilig represented by Mrs.PamelaJeedZiegenhohn, Hon.NielitoTupas represented by Ms. Carol Sobejano. Other SP members present were: Hon. June Mondejar, Hon. Dorothy Paes and Hon. Marcelo Valentine Serag represented by Atty. HenidaGenise.
Addressing the issue on spike billing, a video presentation enumerated the underlying factors and circumstances since the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in mid-March. Engineer Paguntalan of ILECO I testified that there an actual billing made in February before the pandemic and that the computation for March and April billing consumption was based on estimated billing only. Hence, under billing /over billing statement was carried through the billing period for May, the reason for sudden surge of electric bills. The same system was adopted by ILECO II and III citing force majeure circumstances under Section 3.5.4 of the Distribution Services and Open Access. Rules (DISOAR) as promulgated by the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB).
The problem, as cited by Hon.Oso, however, this was not reflected nor explained in the statement of account. Hence, the confusion on the part of the Members-Consumers- Owners (MCOs). Consumer Group representatives aired their concern regarding poor customer service, unavailability of personnel manning the Customer Welfare Desk (CWD) and Hotline Numbers to accommodate inquiries and grievances from MCOs.
In case of over billing, consumers are encouraged to check their actual meter reading or have their meter re -calibrated at the ILECO accredited laboratory in the presence of the actual account holder- being one of the requirements of the Energy Regulatory Commission. Rectifying whatever errors made in the computation is subject to refund in the succeeding bills.
After the committee hearing, written commitments were submitted by the three (3) cooperatives as follows:
- Suspension of disconnection of delinquent accounts until August 31, 2020.
- Pantawid Liwanag Program- residential consumers with thirty (30) kWh and below for the month of March was free of charge. This program was launched in partnership with the National Electrification Adminsitration (NEA), the Philippines Rural Electric. Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) and the.National Association of General Managers of Electric Cooperatives (NAGMEC).
- Extension of due dates and notice of disconnection- Bills falling due during the ECQ – a total of four (four) months extension.Distribution of the Notice of Disconnection will start August 2020 for the unpaid accounts from June 2020 and prior months. But the actual disconnection of unpaid accounts will only commence by September 7, 2020.
- Installment Payment- the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) released directives that allow the staggered payment of the bill for the month of May
- Rate reductions and discounts- Lifeline discounts of 5-50% for consumers not consuming more than 20 kWh per month. Senior Citizen discount of 5% to qualified and registered Senior Citizens consuming not more than 100 kWh per month.
- Suspension of Bill Guarantee. Deposit assessment- together with the extension of due dates, the late payment penalties and surcharges were also waived. Application for reconnection was also waived. For applicants for new residential connections, the Bill Guarantee aye posit assessment will also be reduced by 25% until December 2020.
- May 2020 electric bills may be paid in installment basis without penalties until September 2020.
- Disconnection of electricity service for May 2029 unpaid bills is deferred up to end of September 2020.
- Consumer Welfare Desk Officers are assigned in each Area Offices to cater the complaints and concerns of MCOs.
- Hotlines are indicated: ILECO II hotline (033) 5138138- 09173144410, ILECO II hotline (033) 529-8979, 529-8063 and ILECO III hotline (033) 392-0202, 392-0104.
In view of the foregoing considerations, the Committee recommends for the adoption of the Committee Report and that copy of the repost be furnished the Members- Consumers-Owners (MCOs) of ILECO I, II and III a copy of this report thru the LGU for their information and guidance.
Province of Iloilo, September 24, 2020
SGD. Hon. Ramon G. Sullano
Committee on Transportation, Communication and Public Utilities
SGD. Hon, Domingo B. Oso, Jr.
SGD. Hon. Jason R. Gonzales
Hon. Rolando B. Distura
Hon. Rolito C. Cajilig
Hon. Melito C. Tupas