More eligible consumers in Iloilo City received their bill deposit refund in the second batch of distribution by More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power). The distribution utility held the ceremonial turnover of the refund to qualified consumers in their corporate office recently.
Josephine Kanagasingam, who had applied for electricity three years ago during the transition period with the former distribution utility, was among the recipients. She was so happy to receive the letter notifying her of a refund for their bill deposit.
She visited MORE Power’s office to verify, and was happy to know that she was indeed eligible for a refund of P4,000 (the same amount she paid when she applied for electrical connection) plus the accumulated interest earned which will be deducted from her next billing.
“I really appreciate MORE Power because they are returning it. It’s the first time I’ve experienced a deposit being refunded. In the past, other companies would keep the deposits, which were even larger. So, thank you very much, MORE Power,” she said.
Kanagasingam was one of twenty consumers who qualified for a refund by consistently paying their bills on time for 36 months, equivalent to three years.
Violeta Tiangson from Brgy. Rizal Pala-Pala also received her bill deposit refund during the the event. She expressed her gratitude to MORE Power not only for the refund but also for simplifying the application process compared to the previous distribution utility.
“MORE Power has not only improved our lives through reliable electricity but has also shown a genuine commitment to the welfare of its customers. The refund received has made a tremendous difference in my child’s health, allowing us to continue providing the necessary care,” Tiangson said.
Barangay Kagawad Keiffer Espinosa, who also got the refund, shared similar sentiments. He also praised the ease of application, connection, and payment under MORE Power. He ensured timely payment by providing a one-month deposit to avoid disconnection, and he plans to deposit the refund he received for the next billing period.
According to the Magna Carta for Residential Consumers, bill deposits can be refunded to consumers who have paid on time for 36 months without experiencing disconnection. Apart from the bill deposit, an annual interest rate is also credited to the customer’s account to be deducted from their next billing.
Francis Cruz, who represented Mayor Jerry Treñas in the event, commended MORE Power for initiative.
“Today’s turnover ceremony symbolizes the unwavering dedication that you, the remarkable team at MORE Power, have exhibited in providing the best possible service to the Ilonggos,” Cruz said.
MORE Power president Roel Z. Castro clarified that the refunds are not rewards but rather rights of every consumer based on the law. He highlighted the attention their program has garnered, stating that initially, only three consumers qualified for refunds, but now there are twenty. He reiterated that the bill deposit belongs to the consumers, and it is the law’s mandate to return it.
In June, three consumers qualified for the bill deposit refund, and this month, MORE Power identified twenty more eligible consumers. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman, Atty. Monalisa Dimalanta praised MORE Power for consistently setting an example for other distribution utilities to follow.