Meralco unit in hot water over alleged contract breach: Mandaluyong condo residents seek reimbursement of P4M worth of FCRA payments

The California Garden Square Condominium Association (CSGSCAI) has filed a complaint against Meralco’s retail electricity supplier MPower with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for alleged breach of contract.

In an advisory to its residents, CSGCAI president Ferdinand Teylan said the formal complaint was lodged after the informal process under the ERC’s revised rules of practice and procedure was terminated.

CSGCAI said the complaint arose from the collection of fuel cost recovery adjustment (FCRA) by MPower, citing volatile fuel prices in the world market as part of the pass-through charges.

The board asked ERC to issue a cease and desist order against MPower from collecting the FCRA and hold the issuance of notice of disconnection.

It asked the ERC to issue a ruling that the collection of the FCRA is unlawful and that the group be reimbursed the FCRA payments it made under protest amounting to P4 million.

CSGCAI said they were forced to pay due to the constant threats of disconnection.

The association said that based on the review of the terms of the retail supply contract and the addendum to the offer sheet dated February 2014, MPower’s claim is without basis.

“The imposition of FCRA is not included in the components of the pass-through charges,” the group said.

CSGCAI said the supply sector is imbued with public interest, and the Supreme Court held in several cases that “corporations vested with public interest” owe a fiduciary duty to the public they serve.

“MPower’s conduct failed to exercise a high degree of diligence in the implementation of the retail supply contract,” it said.

The California Garden Square in Mandaluyong is owned by Empire East of bilyonaryo Andrew Tan.

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