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ROUGH CUTS | The DLPC ‘top guns’ visit

Vic N. Sumalinog

WE had the surprise of our life last Monday when we got some visitors in the house who we did not expect would come at this time when restrictions on movement are still very much in place due to the raging CoViD 19 pandemic.

     Our visitors? The Top “Guns of Navarone” from Davao Light and Power Co. corporate “fortress.” Yes, who would ever think that the company’s top management people will ever visit us after 9 years of having gone into retirement from the Aboitiz-owned electricity distribution unit? But there they were in our house in the rural enclave some 31 kilometers from the city’s downtown area. The group of seven led by no less than the President of Davao Light Engr. Rodger Velasco came in shortly before lunch. He was later joined by Assistant Vice Presidents Arnold Arsolon and Engr. Orville Lazaro, lawyer Sherwin Quilatan, Reputation Department Head Fermin Edillon ang staff Sherilyn Pono, and Rodger’s aide whose name escaped our mind.

     We were actually very apprehensive thinking that we might have written some comments very much adverse to the operation of the company which we remain proud to be once a part of. We recalled that days earlier we wrote about the complaints expressed by some friends of ours regarding the inconsistencies in the implementation of company policies that are carried out by its service providers.

     But no, their visit was some kind of an “aside” from their main objective of looking into the progress of a company-initiated project for high school students in the nearby public high school. Davao Light is putting up another Electrical Laboratory (E-Lab) facility in the school for students interested in pursuing electrical installations skills for houses and buildings as their vocational strand in their senior years in high school.

     Yes, after taking their lunch at our house with food that they brought along with them, and taking our “halo-halo” delicacy which is the main fare that our snack house is serving to customers, they indeed took up with us the issues which we wrote about. They did admit that the company has some weaknesses in the monitoring of the activities of their service contractors to the point that some of the service providers’ men are able to do some hanky punkies to the detriment of the company’s reputation which has been painstakingly built over the years.

     According to the Davao Light gentlemen, even before we openly discussed the matter in our column they already heard words about the negative issues filtering from some sources.  And they are crafting new mechanisms that will address the problems before these can create bigger dents in the company’s image.

     We later joined Engineer Velasco’s group in the inspection of the ongoing installation of the E-Lab facility in the barangay high school. Our group met up with Davao City’s third district councilor Engr. Alberto “Abet” Ungab who was a former congressman in the same district. As councilor he carried with him some requests from his constituents who want to avail or have some problems with their power installations. And luckily Councilor Ungab himself also disclosed that he himself got disturbed by complaints from other residents in his district which are similar to the one we wrote. At least ours were validated by the councilor.

     Like in our case the top officials of the power firm were humble enough to admit the shortness of the company as far as some expectations of certain people are concerned. But the good thing about it is that the top officials of the power firm did not hesitate to show their sensitivity to criticisms aired by its customers. The officials led by the company top executive were quick in saying that they already have looked into the problems and are willing to undertake measures that will make true the electric distribution firm’s desire to be able to maintain its “customer-friendly” status as service provider corporations to the public.

     We however recommended that erring service providers contracted by the company be first reminded of their infractions and if they admit they have committed such they be given a “shot at redemption.” Meaning these erring service provider firms first be given a chance to correct themselves, reinforce their weakness and be closely monitored before disciplinary measures are imposed.

     Now that the Davao City-based firm is being beg of by the people of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro to expand its franchise to their areas then it becomes extremely important that this early issues on service weaknesses be corrected. We are certain that the people of nearby Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro are expecting the same much talked about efficiency in the delivery of services and the quality of power distributed to customers when the power firm gets to serve them.

     Again our heartfelt thanks to the team of DLPC President Velasco for dropping by and assuring us that the company remains steadfast in its desire to be a customer-friendly establishment even as it seeks to maintain the level of its various services by putting the necessary “handle” on its service contractors.

                                                                          

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