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A Current Affair

Is this true? Have you read that on Facebook?

For close to a year now, every month, I would set apart the largest chunk of my earning to pay for electric bill. Yes. I know, I can remember that Home Economics lesson that taught that food should take the largest portion of the household budget. But what can I do? Electricity demands more. There was a time when I didn’t mind it when the bills hit around the two thousand level. I would not even remember how much the bill for the month was. It started when my aunt slowly gave me the electric bill which amounted to more than six thousand. Some of you out there could have had bills higher than that. My aunt seemed like she was waiting for me to break in tears. I kept my composure and took it like a man. I calmly took that piece of paper and told her not to worry because we had the money for it. But inside, my spirit was screaming for the nauseous altitude of that amount, and with clenched fist, gritted teeth and hardened jaw, vowed under heaven and upon all the earth not to allow for it to happen again. Well, we did manage to lower the bill. I would declare some days of abstinence from air conditioning, We would have a schedule for unplugging the fridge and other appliances. We would turn off some lights and use solar lights instead. The bill did decrease but it was to some 15 to 30%. I did not and still do not understand why it was still expensive, but little to some decrease is still a decrease and I was and still am grateful for that.

To say that rate recalibration and refund is a good news is so much of an understatement. This is excellent news! The slide from 17 to 10 to 12 kilowatt per hour would be a big difference. I’m already okay with the decrease of the amount that would appear on my bills on the coming months. I’m already willing to bury the hatchet with all those months that I felt like I was falling victim to highway robbery with overpriced charges. But if they would be giving refund for unjust charges, I would welcome that. Show me the money. I could divert that to other expenses. I could lend some of those to a cousin whose child is sick in the hospital and in need of some injection. I could spend some on some good dining at some fancy place after work. See what this high price of electricity is doing to us. It has been keeping us from giving to people in need, or giving ourselves with what we enjoy indeed.

I checked the date of the order and it was dated around the middle of April, and it’s already May. I hesitated paying the full amount of my bill. I was thinking, they should adjust this. Besides, they owe me for all those months. Should I pay or should I not? I paid nonetheless. I figured why are there no dramatic changes yet if there has been an order to adjust the rate and refund the overcharged amounts. Is the cooperative ignoring the order? I guess, they could do that. I remember when I was young, I would feign deafness to my mother’s calls and move only when she was already raising her voice in screaming my name. I guess, they’re waiting for something equal to that. Is this on appeal? I don’t know how this works. Did they move for reconsideration? Are they applying for some sort of temporary restraining order while the order is on appeal, in the hopes that the rate stays the same and refund gets restrained? Someone from City Hall replied that it still would follow a process, implying that the execution of the order and implementation would still take some time. When is this going to take effect? After another year? Well, by that time, I would have collected a huge amount for refund. On the other hand, that’s many months more of paying overpriced charges. Let’s expedite that process if there’s some way to do that. We’ll be waiting.

I suppose they could refund by giving discounts on the coming bills. I understand that they couldn’t give it back one-time big time. I wouldn’t mind if they do it on staggered basis. I think Meralco already did that way. I know it would hurt somehow. So, let’s bring it down now or as soon as they’re ready.

Exodus 22:14 – “If anything is borrowed, it should be paid back. If what is borrowed is lost or injured, full restitution must be made.”


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