In a surprising turn of events, numerous consumers of MORE Power Iloilo were so happy to receive letters notifying them of a refund for their bill deposit.
Josephine Kanagasingam, who had applied for electricity three years ago during the transition period with the former distribution utility, was among the recipients.
Josephine, like many others, had gone through the application process and paid a bill deposit of 4,000 pesos for her electrical connection.
Recently, while going through her mail, she came across a notice from MORE Power, Iloilo City’s power distribution utility.
Curious, she visited MORE Power’s office to verify the legitimacy of the letter, only to be surprised that she was indeed eligible for a refund – the same 4,000 pesos she had paid three years ago, plus the accumulated interest earned, which will be deducted from her next billing.
Speaking about her experience, Josephine expressed her gratitude, saying, “I asked the staff there if it was true, and they confirmed that it was. 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!”
Josephine was one of twenty consumers who qualified for a refund by consistently paying their bills on time for 36 months, equivalent to three years. In a simple ceremony, she and her fellow consumers, Violeta and Barangay Kagawad Keiffer Espinosa, received their refunds.
Violeta, another MORE Power consumer, hailed from Brgy. Rizal Pala-Pala, known as one of the most densely populated areas in Iloilo City. 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.
Kagawad Keiffer Espinosa shared similar sentiments, emphasizing 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.
The Iloilo City Government commended MORE Power for this historic initiative, with Francis Cruz, Special Assistant to Mayor Jerry Treñas, stating, “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.”
Mr. Roel Castro, President of MORE Power, 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.