OLONGAPO CITY: Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has called on the two public utilities providing water and electricity services here not to prioritize profit over the welfare of the general public and instead look after the interest of the people.
Speaking online in the early evening of Thursday and livesreamed on Facebook by consumer advocate SuperGapo through its lead convenor Mike Macapagal, Go said he saw in the recent weeks the sudden spike in social media posts of complaints about water and electricity bills in Olongapo aside from people personally visiting his office to seek his help.
Water and electricity consumers in Olongapo City earlier flooded social media with the complaints about the allegedly excessive rates being charged in their March, April and May billings.
The Olongapo Electric Distribution Co. (OEDC) initially admitted using averaging in determining usage for those months’ consumptions, justifying that their meter readers could not go around because of the government-imposed lockdown.
After the complaints started to pour in and noise reverberated on various social media platforms, the OEDC later agreed to do actual meter reading.
Water billings of Subicwater and Sewerage Systems Inc. (Subicwater) consumers also reflected three to four times higher than their regular consumption that resulted in the consumers airing their complaints on social media platforms.
Macapagal vowed to fight for the rights of water and electricity consumers and bring these issues to the attention of national leaders.
Go, in his online call, urged OEDC and Subicwater to explain clearly to consumers and give complete and accurate information that can be understood by the people already reeling from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He asked the OECD and Subicwater not to disregard the complaints against alleged excessive hikes in water and electricity bills and to show they will make life easier and take care of the welfare of the people.
“They keep your businesses afloat, so you must show them your concern for their welfare and well-being,” the senator said.
Help them and do not make them suffer, he added.
Go urged the two utility firms to ensure that their policies were in line with the country’s laws and if there were mistakes, these should be rectified immediately.
“The government will not tolerate any unfair business practices at a time when peoples’ lives are at risk,” he said.