100 signatures reached
To: Olongapo Electric Distribution Company OEDC Olongapo
SUPERGAPO, the consumer advocate group based in Olongapo city, has partnered up with several
nationwide consumer advocate groups in the Philippines to fight Meralco, OEDC and other power utility
companies to protect the rights of our electric consumers.
The letter below is patterned to the letter made by consumer advocate groups in Metro Manila against
We, the undersigned residential electric consumers of Olongapo city, respectfully demand the Congress
of the Philippines and the Energy Regulatory Commission to declare a moratorium on all OEDC bill
payments for March, April & May 2020 – the Enhanced Community Quarantine months when OEDC
perpetrated the “bill shock.” Consumers can not be made to pay these anomalous bills until the issue is
We call for this moratorium to provide justice to consumers whose bills were based on estimates,
followed by an “actual” reading which bloated their consumption levels as OEDC passed on to
residential consumers certain percentage of the already contracted electricity intended for the
industries, manufacturing, and commerce sectors but were not dispatched and consumed to these
sectors as they were forced to close down during the quarantine and lockdown.
This moratorium also aims to immediately provide urgently needed financial relief to consumers –
especially the daily wage-earners and the low-income –who are presently overburdened by rising costs
of living and rampant loss of livelihood. These consumers, already suffering from the pandemic, were
struck by OEDC with the said “bill shock” in May 2020, when they were charged triple or even quadruple
their usual bill.
The bill shock is just the latest chapter in OEDC’s long history of high electricity rates, overcharging, and
refusal to release long-overdue refunds. OEDC-a monopolistic, private distribution utility with a massive
captive market, earning millions if not hundreds of millions or billions since 2014 at the expense of
consumers-characteristically, did not waste the opportunity to profiteer during this pandemic.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
A suspension of OEDC bill shock payments-endorsed through a resolution by the members of the
congress of the Philippines and imposed through an order by the Energy Regulatory Commission-can
provide the long-sought justice and immediate financial relief to ordinary consumers struggling today.
This too, is the least that OEDC should be compelled to do to correct its abuses against its costumers
with decades of overcharging and unreturned refunds. Especially in a time of high unemployment rates,
not having to worry about paying the questionable electricity bills provides security, albeit temporary, in
an unstable financial situation.
Consumers must not be forced to pay the anomalous March to May bills until our energy regulators
ensure the following:
1. A swift and just resolution of the OEDC bill shock through the completion of an in-depth
investigation and audit of OEDC’s cash flows and liabilities. OEDC and other parties found to be
responsible for unreasonable electric bills must be penalized.
2. Return of a bill shock payments and pending OEDC refunds in form of cash or credit to
consumers’ bills, as preferred by the consumer.
3. Reforms in OEDC’s billing practices, rate settings, and charging of exorbitant fees (such as
systems loss charges).
Why is this important?
This moratorium is a first step that the ERC and Congress can do to safeguard the interests and rights of
electric consumers who have long suffered at the hands of OEDC. Beyond this, we urge our energy
1. Advance the development of renewable energy technologies especially in the form of microgrids
to pave the path for a decentralized power sector, which is the best solution for problems
encountered with OEDC. This would yield long-term economic benefits, including cheaper
electricity, energy sector resilience, and creation of green jobs.
2. Review and renegotiate all PSAs that did not go through a Competitive Selection Process or
were passed anomalously or are detrimental to consumers by lack of carve-out clauses and
inclusion of add-on charges and lock-in provisions, among other factors.
3. Expand the lifeline rate to 210 kwh to benefit more residential consumers, and afford them
increased discounts in distribution, supply, and metering charges and other subsidies, especially
for the low-income, low-consumption classes.
4. Review the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) towards an overhaul. The present OEDC
bill shock is but an epitome of the law’s failure “to ensure the quality, reliability, security and
affordability of the supply of electric power.”
How it will be delivered
We will email the signatures and also deliver them in person.