ILOILO CITY – About PHP5 million in bill deposits will be refunded this year by the electric distribution utility More Electric and Power Corp. to its consumers who religiously paid their dues in the past 36 months.

For June, at least 20 eligible consumers were identified but only 15 have submitted their refund applications and 12 received their deposits, ranging from PHP2,500 to PHP8,000, during a simple ceremony at the firm’s office in Iloilo City on Friday.

“Since we started until now, we have almost 30,000 new accounts. So that will accumulate in time,” MORE Power president and chief executive officer Roel Z. Castro said.

The first refund was done last month for three qualified consumers and Castro said it served as a benchmark for other distribution utilities in the country.

In his message during the turnover, Castro said they represent the “responsible consumers.”

“One realization I actually had was that not to discriminate. Being responsible consumer cuts across all sectors. At MORE Power, we feel somehow so happy for holding this program because I would like to make an emphasis on consumers who are responsible,” he said.

The Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers allows consumers to apply for a refund in two instances – when they pay their dues without fail within the past 36 months and when their contract is terminated.

Distribution utilities require a bill deposit of new or additional services equivalent to one month of billing as a payment guarantee.

Iloilo City Assistant Department head Francis T. Cruz, who represented Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, called the turnover ceremony a symbol of the firm’s unwavering dedication to providing the “best possible service” to llonggos.

“By diligently implementing the bill deposit refund mandated by the Energy Regulatory Commission, you demonstrate your unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and adherence to our laws.

This exemplary act sets a benchmark for others to follow,” he said.

MORE Power serves about 93,000 customers consisting of the 31,028 connections installed since it took over three years ago and about 62,000 consumers of the previous distribution utility. (PNA)