Does Zamcelco have the competence? PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 July 2018 15:35

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

The power in our house went out 6 times last Thursday.  Each  outage was not longer than 10 minutes but long enough to disrupt whatever one was doing that required electricity.

I don’t know whether the power interruptions were part of ongoing work in the city’s electrical system or simply interruptions because some people were sleeping on the job, or have been sleeping on the job.

Since the outages took place on July 5, the deadline that Zamcelco had to meet relative to their unpaid debts of several millions to WMPC, I was wondering if we should brace ourselves for another period of aggravation with brownouts, as threatened by the WMPC. Thank heavens it wasn’t that. Yet.

We live in times when highly specialized skills are necessary for our lives to go smoothly. Needless to say someone with a doctorate in history, say, cannot be relied on to be competent in electricity or computer technology or even plumbing. But surely Zamcelco must have people who are competent in the area in which it does its business – people with training and skills in matters electrical.  So how come for years now we have had to live with the kind of service that the coop delivers?

Competence can be defined in many ways but essentially it refers to knowledge and skills that can be applied to effectively solve problems in a given area. I would like to underscore “effectively” because the power outages in our city’s electrical service are not random events  but recurring ones  that have plagued us over so many years and still plague us at this time. No effective solution has yet been found which leads me to ask if we can presume the absence of competence then.  I will not pretend to have the competence of an electrical engineer because I don’t. What I do have is the ability to compare the service we are getting from Zamcelco with the service I have observed in other cities like Manila or Cebu. I spent a week in Cebu recently and I do not remember a power outage during the time I was there.

Is the lack of competence perhaps in the decision-making level? The matter of systems loss or outstanding unpaid debts of the coop are dealt with at the Board level.  The talk about systems loss higher than what is officially allowed has been there for years but nothing seems to be put in place to address the problem. Why is that? And how does the coop’s management explain the huge unpaid debt of the coop to its power suppliers? If I owe the coop a month’s billing and this is unpaid by so many days I can get my connection cut. The same orientation should operate for the coop vis-à-vis its power suppliers.