The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has reaffirmed its commitment to support the recovery of local hotel operators as they bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a webinar recently organized by Meralco, the power distributor, which has long been a partner of the Philippine Hotel Owners Association (PHOA), pledged to continue providing stable and reliable electricity service, and energy solutions befitting to the needs of the industry moving forward.
The pandemic, at its peak in 2020, led to temporary closure of businesses and loss of income for the hospitality industry. Despite the challenges, the industry supported the government in its fight against the pandemic.
“For the past two years, our customers from the Hotel Industry were among the hardest hit with the sudden decline in occupancy. Their facilities were used for quarantine, requiring them to operate as quasi-hospitals and to strictly implement health and safety protocols while providing utmost care to travelers that had to be accommodated.
During this time, Meralco initiated contract right-sizing to assist our customers with hopes of preventing further loss of business and employment,” said Meralco Vice President and Head of Enterprise and National Government Engr. Ma. Cecilia M. Domingo.
According to PHOA Executive Director Benito C. Bengzon Jr., Meralco played a vital role in helping PHOA members deliver on their commitments with energy-saving measures, such as contract rightsizing and temporary waiving of the Guaranteed Minimum Billing Demand (GMBD).
“PHOA sees Meralco as an institutional and vital industry partner. We hope to strengthen our relationship so that together we can continuously improve the delivery of services to our clientele,” Bengzon said.
Raffles and Fairmont Hotel Group, a member of the PHOA, similarly recognized the crucial role that Meralco plays in the recovery of the industry.
“Meralco is an essential partner in our business by providing for the electricity of the hotels.
Customer satisfaction is one of our goals and we could have not attained it if power supply is unreliable,” said Raffles and Fairmont Hotel General Manager Aubrey Ada.
As local tourism takes off this year, Engr. Domingo said: “Meralco is more than happy to assist the hotels to ensure energy-readiness once again. Further, their aptitude for economic recovery through participation in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) is laudable.”
ILP is a demand-side management program of the Department of Energy where large businesses are asked to temporarily de-load from the grid when the Luzon grid is placed under red alert.
Participation of companies is crucial to the success of ILP, since this may spare an estimate of 4,000 households and small businesses from power outages for every 1-megawatt of de-loaded power.
Among the companies in the hospitality industry within Meralco’s franchise that are enrolled under the ILP are Taal Vista, City of Dreams, Discovery Suites, Diamond Hotel, Sofitel Manila, and Raffles and Fairmont Hotel.