Zamcelco’s poor service
I am but one of the many Zamboangueños who have had enough of the atrocious service provided by the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamcelco). Through the better part of 2011 and the first two days of 2012, we have been experiencing near-daily power interruptions lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to half a day, as well as severe power fluctuations. This has resulted in damages to many of our electric appliances. I, for one, have had to shell out a few thousand pesos for the repair of a couple of TV sets and a desktop computer, all of which had their power units damaged as a direct result of the blackouts and power fluctuations. Furthermore, those of us who run small businesses that depend on a constant and steady electrical supply have lost tens of thousands of pesos over the past year because of the power interruptions.
I have called Zamcelco to complain to them directly and to get their side, but most of the time they do not bother to answer the phone. The few times they do, they always give the same broad excuses—either they are repairing a damaged transformer, or a severe weather disturbance has forced them to cut the power supply to certain areas of the city.
Unlike other places in the Philippines, Zamboanga City lies in an area that is relatively typhoon-free and protected from weather disturbances. I used to live in Manila where, sometimes, even the most severe storms are not enough to cause power interruptions. Why the tiniest bit of rain causes blackouts in Zamboanga City is beyond my grasp. I have even noticed that at times, even if the weather is perfectly fine (clear skies, no signs of rain), Zamcelco people have the gall to use “the weather excuse.” At the same time, it is inconceivable for the electric transformer in my part of the city to be damaged on an almost daily basis. Using that excuse for a few breakdowns a year would be believable, but not for every power interruption that occurs. That simply defies logic.
I cannot speak for others in this regard, but I have had no problems with paying my monthly electric bill. We pay in full and on time, which is why I think it is only right for me to expect decent service from Zamcelco.
What I am asking for, on behalf of my fellow Zamcelco subscribers, is an official explanation detailing the real reasons behind the frequent blackouts and power fluctuations that have inconvenienced us for so long. We would also appreciate it if Zamcelco had the courtesy to inform us through local radio, television or print media if there are any scheduled repairs that may cause power interruptions. This would allow us to minimize, if not completely eliminate, the damage to our electrical appliances and to cut down on unnecessary expenses that may otherwise be used for more important things. Otherwise, we may be forced to file a formal complaint with national energy authorities.
Putik, Zamboanga City
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