THE Cebu City Council has appealed to the Visayan Electric to adopt a “no disconnection policy” and offer flexible or staggered payment options to its consumers amid the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in the city.
In a privilege speech which Cebu City Councilor Alvin Dizon delivered on Aug. 25, 2021, Dizon said a number of consumers are having difficulty in paying their monthly power bills, especially those whose livelihood has been affected by the pandemic.
But Visayan Electric reputation enhancement manager Queenie Bronce said the Visayan Electric announced on Aug. 10 that it has suspended all disconnection in its franchise area following the declaration of the MECQ.
Bronce said when the MECQ was extended until Aug. 31, the suspension of the disconnection has also been extended, as announced by the Visayan Electric on its Facebook page and through the media.
When Cebu City was placed again under a much stricter quarantine status on Aug. 1, a number of businesses have been closed again, especially those that are not considered essential businesses.
Dizon said the pandemic has caused serious disruptions in people’s business, employment and livelihood.
He said there are vulnerable and low-income households that will likely be unable to afford energy bills and are most at risk of being disconnected.
Acting City Secretary Charise Piramide was asked to furnish copies of the appeal to the Visayas Electric and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
“It is vital for the government to help ensure continued energy access by working with the private sector to enforce measure suspending bill payments and not to disconnect households during this public health crisis,” said Dizon.
Dizon said electricity is an essential need, especially now with the pandemic. (JJL)