Metro Manila · Why you should pay your electric bills on time

Waiting at Meralco "/var/ezdemo_site/storage/images/media/manila/images-manila/megacitizens/waiting-at-meralco/318635-1-eng-GB/Waiting-at-Meralco_zoom_image.jpg" 1022 650 Waiting at Meralco

Today I learned a valuable lesson: always pay your Meralco bill on or before the due date!

This should – in theory – really be no problem, as I can make my monthly payments for electricity at the Bayad Center in my nearest mall (a five minute walk), at the 7Eleven on the ground floor of my condominium (ten floors down by elevator, approximately 90 seconds), and even on my laptop, thanks to the fact that I have BPI Express online banking.

Nevertheless, for a good week my Meralco bill stuck on my refrigerator with a magnet, waiting to be paid. Fortunately there is no extra fee for overdue bills. But – and I think that is even worse – the bills can now only be paid right at a Meralco branch or extension office, nowhere else. When I arrived at my nearest office there were about 60 or 70 people waiting in a long, winding line, giving the impression of a check-in counter at NAIA. Fortunately most clients already bring the exact amount of money, though, and the queue is constantly moving. Still, it took about half an hour till it finally was my turn. So if you ever have an overdue electric bill, be sure you have some time – and something to read if you get bored easily, as for some reason you are obliged to turn of your cellphone at the Meralco branches.