Gatchalian warns Meralco franchise may be revoked if power firm insists on appealing P19M fine

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said power distribution giant Manila Electric Co. could suffer the same fate as ABS-CBN Corp. should the utility firm continue appeal the P19 million penalty imposed by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Meralco was fined for failure to explain the wild spikes in consumers’ monthly bills during the enhanced community quarantine.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Gatchalian as saying: “Meralco should not appeal anymore because it’s impossible that the penalty is just P19 million. They have to look at it as a whole.”

Gatchalian said Congress could exercise its oversight function and revoke Meralco’s franchise should the power firm continue to fight the ERC order.

Under ERC rules, a party adversely affected by a final order, resolution, or decision of the Commission rendered in an adjudicative proceeding may, within 15 days from receipt of which, file a motion for reconsideration.

Nevertheless, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said they respect Gatchalian’s statements and that the company would take steps for the good of its customers in the coming days.

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