While watching the news, one of the banner stories I saw was that Meralco is set to launch its prepaid services soon. I did some Googling and found that the Meralco prepaid-electricity scheme works like the mobile-phone loading system. A consumer provides a sari-sari store or any prepaid outlet his subscriber information number and the amount is loaded to that number via text message.
Meralco conducted a study and found that most of customers showed their preference for prepaid electricity, saying the managed appliance use matched their household expense with their income.
The said research also showed that the prepaid system, which is like buying tingi, is ingrained in the Filipino lifestyle. The study noted that, since many wage earners receive daily or weekly pay, they prefer their expenses—from mobile phones to Internet and electricity —to be also on a tingi basis. It was also revealed that consumers were interested in the prepaid system because it serves as a budget tool that teaches household members to save and share expenses.
I personally think it’s a great mechanism in order to make electricity more widely available (since Meralco will be rolling out around 4,000 new meters for this project); affordable for most people, since a prepaid system can really help in budgeting the household income; and, easily accessible because anytime one needs electricity, all she/he needs to do is go to the suking tindahan and say “Pa-load nga po ng kuryente!”
Agnes M. Santiago, Entry #6