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Manila Electric Halves Spending as Lockdown Weakens Power Demand

An engineer looks at data in a Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) systems control center.

An engineer looks at data in a Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) systems control center.

Photographer: Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg

Manila Electric Co. is slashing its capital spending budget by almost half as the largest Philippine power retailer sees lower demand this quarter, with the coronavirus outbreak shutting many businesses.

Capital expenditure for infrastructure projects will be cut to 9.3 billion pesos ($183.38 million) from the 17.8 billion pesos initially planned at the start of the year, Meralco Senior Vice President Ronnie Aperocho said at a virtual briefing Monday after the release of first-quarter earnings. Sales volume this year will probably be 10% lower than 2019 level, CFO Betty Siy-Yap said.