Press "Enter" to skip to content

ROUGH CUTS | DCWD’s major leap forward

A few days back we wrote in our column our shock when we received our water bill for the period January 25 to February 24. The delivery date as reflected on the bill was February 28 although in actual we received the same only on March 7, 2024. Our shock led us to immediately call Davao City Water District (DCWD) communications unit head JC Duhaylungsod to seek her assistance in having a technician from the agency check our meter. But already we were suspecting that if the meter is functioning right then it could be a big leak in the pipe inside our premises.

And indeed the subsequent inspection and meter check backed our suspicion that the leak is on a pipe inside our compound. So our Mea Culpa though definitely not our liking.

So what else can we do but accept our liability and admit that we will be at the mercy of the water firm insofar as the settlement of our extremely huge bill — a whooping P32 thousand — for the period stated above.

Then we have to confront with the expenses to be incurred in re-piping. We were advised by the DCWD technician to have our pipes exposed this time.The biggest challenge is for our plumber to connect to the exposed main pipe those that lead to the faucets in our bathrooms and kitchen without destroying the tiles. Otherwise we will be swamped with more expenses to re-tile those affected.

After finding a trusted plumber and some three days work the re-piping, this time on the surface of the ground, was completed.

Then we have to go to the water firm’s office to discuss the issue on our gargantuan bill and how we could possibly be able to work out for some kind of arrangement. So last Monday, March 18, we went to DCWD’s Commercial Services Division. As expected we were given priority attention as part of the privileges accorded to senior citizens, nothing more.

That was when the shock lingering in our mind was taken over by amazement. No, not by anything else but by the courteous and very accommodating manner with which the customer representative of the agency attended to us. We were served by the lady assigned at Cubicle No. 2 of the Commercial Division area. Unfortunately we forgot to ask for her name as many were already waiting for their turn.

The lady advised us what to do and how to do it. She gave us a document that needs to be signed by the plumber that did the re-piping and request that we take a picture of the meter with the reading clearly visible. Then she told us to bring certain amount of money that she estimated could be an insurance that our house connection will not be cut off. We went home after although we have to finish all other activities that were part of our itineraries during that particular trip to the city’s downtown.

We completed working on the requirements asked from us the next day, Tuesday, and went back to the water firm last Wednesday to submit the complied documents. This time we were attended by a customer service representative assigned in Cubicle No. 5. And again, we experienced the same courtesy accorded to us in our last Monday’s call on DCWD. This time though the lady by the name of Donabel (or Donaville?) Castel did a lot of other work such as reviewing and printing out the transaction history including the billing and payments made over a specific period of time.

Dona did all of these painstakingly seemingly unmindful of the growing number of customers waiting for their turn to be attended. It took sometime for Donna to complete the paper works and then told us to proceed to the payment booth to pay the required amount.

From that experience of ours, we cannot help but forget the problem of immediately finding money to pay the entire amount billed us. It was like having a nail that pierced our body being pulled out. Yes, both the affordable adjustment that we were given, and the unexpected very nice comportment of the ladies who attended to us were a major relief to the gnawing pain of thinking a potential financial challenge to our family.

Actually, our recent experience at the DCWD was a far cry from the experiences we had some years back dating to the time of the previous managements when we have to pull strings using our connections as media personality in the city.

We could only attribute this major change in attitude and behavior of the water firm’s employee to the consciousness of the current management that customers are the lifeblood of DCWD’s existence. And we have no doubt that they have taken in people who are willing to change mindsets for the benefit of the customers their firm serves.

One example is the huge steps DCWD has taken in improving its information, education and communications (IEC) processes to customers and stakeholders, a job spearheaded by the team of Ms. JC “Bogart” Duhaylungsod.

Though we believe that there are still rooms for further improvement there is already manifest substantial satisfaction among consumers who may feel “betrayed” when they lose water without knowing in advance.

Of course many, including us, may still have issues or concerns with the DCWD’s policies and services. But it cannot be denied that bringing its relationship with the water consumers to the next higher level, even if one step at a time, is a big leap forward.

We can only hope that this will be sustained forever.



Powered By ICTC/DRS