Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the Philippines’ largest power distributor, has clarified that convenience fees charged for online electricity bill payments are directed to their payment partners, such as GCash and Maya, and not to Meralco itself.

Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco’s First Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications, stated in a press release that these fees are not for profit but to cover processing costs incurred by their payment partners.

According to Zaldarriaga, while the use of Bayad e-wallet remains free, other platforms charge varying fees: GCash imposes a 6-peso fee, Maya charges 7 pesos, and transactions made through Visa, Mastercard, and JCB cards incur a 15-peso convenience fee.

The clarification comes in response to a call by Rep. Johnny Pimentel of Surigao del Sur’s 2nd District to eliminate the 15-peso convenience fee.

Meralco emphasized that these fees are necessary to compensate their payment partners for transaction processing. The company also noted that customers have the freedom to choose the payment method most convenient for them.